Saudi to export 'clean' diesel

State-run Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell are expected to start ultra-low sulphur diesel exports from their joint venture refinery by the end of January, a senior company executive said.

The commissioning of the new refining unit is likely to take place before the end of the month, said Sasref Executive Vice-President Raja Ahmad Murad Bin Raja Bahrin.

"We will hopefully start to export products by the end of January," he said. The unit was previously scheduled to come online at the end of 2009.

The cost of the upgrade at the 305,000 barrels per day (bpd) joint venture plant was valued at more than $400 million (Dh1.46bn), said Sasref President Abdulhakim Al Gouhi said.

The unit, which makes the refinery the kingdom's first producer that complies with new environtmental standards, has the potential to produce up to 100,000 bpd of clean diesel, he said.

The clean diesel unit is part of a broader plan to upgrade and add new units to meet environmental standards at the plant in Jubail, on the Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia.

Earnings from processing crude this year are likely to be weak.

 

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