Saudi Aramco advances global chemicals strategy with S-Oil expansion project in Ulsan, South Korea

Saudi Aramco advances global chemicals strategy with S-Oil expansion project in Ulsan, South Korea
Published: 26 June 2019 - 3 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery

Saudi Aramco is advancing its global chemicals growth strategy with the inauguration of S-Oil’s new residue upgrading complex and olefin downstream complex.

The new facilities feature the latest refinery technologies, which have raised S-Oil’s petrochemical portion from 8% to 13% and includes high-value products such as propylene and gasoline.

The inauguration of the complex was celebrated in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Saudi Arabia, and Moon Jae-in president of the Republic of Korea. Also in attendance were Khalid Abdulaziz Al Falih, minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, Saudi Arabia, and Sung Yunmo, the minister of trade, industry and energy of the Republic of Korea.

“Today‘s inauguration marks a historic moment for both S-Oil and Saudi Aramco. S-Oil serves as a role model for Saudi Aramco’s international downstream strategy and plays an important role by providing the vital energy needed for economic growth in South Korea.These two new facilities will supply high-value products to major Korean industries, whose global brands are part of our everyday lives and rank among the world’s very best in technology, innovation, creativity, and quality,” said Saudi Aramco president and CEO Amin H Nasser.

The inauguration also included the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two companies to collaborate on a $6bn steam cracker and olefin downstream project which is expected to be completed by 2024. The new world-class steam cracker will produce ethylene and other basic chemicals out of naphtha and refinery off-gas.

This new agreement supports Saudi Aramco’s plan to increase its global petrochemicals footprint over the next decade. It will further include the deployment of Saudi Aramco’s thermal crude-to-chemicals technology, shifting S-OIL’s focus from ‘oil-to-chemicals’ to better position the company in the future energy market.

Aramco Overseas Company is a major shareholder in S-Oil, which is South Korea’s third largest refiner.

Saudi Aramco initially invested in S-Oil in 1991, and their relationship continues to grow stronger, with the refining capacity increasing from 90,000bpd in 1990 to roughly 700,000bpd in 2018.

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