Yasref continues exports, commissioning activities at Yanbu refinery

Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Co. Ltd. (Yasref), a joint venture of Saudi Aramco (62.5%) and China Petrochemical Corp. (Sinopec) (37.5%), has exported the first shipment of petroleum coke (petcoke) from its 400,000-b/d refinery in Yanbu Industrial City on the west coast of Saudi Arabia along the Red Sea.

The 49,000-tonne petcoke shipment loaded during Apr. 6-10 and was based on a fully automated process across production stages through export, Aramco said.

The petcoke shipment follows the refinery’s first loading of a 300,000-tonne cargo of high-quality, low-sulfur diesel for export, which shipped on Jan. 15, according to separate January releases from Sinopec and Yasref.

Export of the January diesel cargo marked the official start of the refinery’s commercial operations, including the plant’s atmospheric and vacuum distillation units, delayed coker, as well as associated utilities, Sinopec said on Jan. 20.

As of January, remaining units at the full-conversion refinery still were in the commissioning phase, the Chinese firm said.

Initially scheduled for start-up in September 2014 and first commercial shipment of refined products in fourth-quarter 2014 (OGJ Online, Apr. 11, 2013), the Yasref refinery now is scheduled to reach its full capacity during second-quarter 2015, said an April report by Riyadh-based Jadwa Investment, which also holds a joint interest with Aramco in Saudi Aramco Lubricating Oil Refining Co. (Luberef) (OGJ Online, Feb. 14, 2013).

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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