Saudi Aramco has announced its decision to construct a grassroots refinery in Yanbu' Industrial City, on the west coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Yanbu' is one of the three main industrial areas of Saudi Arabia and already hosts many oil processing, petrochemical and other industrial plants. The newly incorporated Red Sea Refining Company will process 400,000 barrels of heavy crude per day when it is completed in 2014.
Saudi Aramco and Air Liquide Arabia announced Monday that they had signed a long-term hydrogen supply agreement for this new refinery.
Under the terms of this hydrogen supply agreement, Air Liquide Arabia will invest 450 million US dollars (more than EUR350 million) in two global-scale hydrogen production units with total production capacity of 300,000 Nm³ per hour (262 million standard cubic feet per day). This will be Air Liquide's largest single industrial investment and its most significant "over the fence" hydrogen contract ever.
This new complex will be designed and built by Lurgi, a division of Air Liquide Engineering. The project will be commissioned in 2014.
Pierre Dufour, Senior Executive Vice-President of the Air Liquide Group supervising the Middle East Zone, said: "With this new global scale project in Saudi Arabia, Air Liquide demonstrates its capacity to meet the growing needs of its long-term customers, particularly in the main industrial hubs. The outsourcing of the hydrogen needs of such a big refinery is a first in the Middle East and representative of a long term trend in this zone.
"This project also reinforces our strategic and growing presence in the Middle East, where we continue to develop our industrial gas infrastructure in support of the evolving energy sector, a growth driver for Air Liquide."