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KBR awarded crude-oil-to-chemicals contract

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

With startup in 2025, a new fully integrated crude-oil-to-chemicals (COTC) complex is on track to become the largest of its kind in the world. It will become a major contributor to Saudi Vision 2030, enabling a new era of industrial diversification, job creation, and technology development in the Kingdom.

The complex is expected to process 400 000 bpd of Arabian Light crude oil, which will produce approximately 9 million tpy of chemicals and 9 million tpy of fuels. It is projected to achieve a direct conversion rate from crude oil to chemicals of up to 50%.

Saudi Aramco and the Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) – who are partnering on the project – awarded a contract to KBR to develop a part of the COTC complex. KBR will provide the front-end engineering and design (FEED) for the downstream petrochemicals and chemicals component within the COTC master complex. The scope includes engineering studies, infrastructure planning and development for both of the polymer and glycol units, along with the aromatics complex, the COTC master plot plan, and offsite utilities.

The KBR project management contract is the second that Saudi Aramco and SABIC have awarded for the COTC project. Wood, also a leading project management and engineering firm, was granted the first contract to provide engineering and design for the refining components, mixed feed steam cracker, on-site utilities, interface and site integration, and selection of technology providers.

A recently-held kickoff meeting included a ceremonial signing of a safety pledge by senior leadership and project team members from all three companies. Dubbed ‘Zero Harm’, the KBR safety programme engages project sponsors and team members at all levels to commit to a 24/7 safety mindset – one that never waivers and can never be compromised.

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