ADNOC Refining awarded a Pre-Front End Engineering and Designing (Pre-FEED) contract on Thursday to the U.K.-based Wood Group, taking the second step towards building the world's largest integrated refining and petrochemicals complex in Ruwais, United Arab Emirates.
"The award is for a state-of-the-art refinery with a capacity of 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day. In keeping with modern design, the new refinery will be designed to have full conversion capability and allow integration with petrochemicals industries in Ruwais which is already the fourth largest single site refinery in the world," a press release read.
According to the statement, the award of the Pre-FEED contract is the second stage in a four-stage process leading to construction. The previous stage was a feasibility study. The Pre-FEED is expected for completion by the end of this year. The announcement to build the complex was made last May.
ADNOC is one of the world's leading diversified energy and petrochemicals groups with a daily output of about 3 million barrels of oil and 10.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas. The contract is part of its AED 165 billion ($45 billion) expansionary downstream strategy. The company plans to expand refining capacity by more than 65 per cent by 2025, creating a total capacity of 1.5 million barrels per day.
"The new refinery, coupled with other projects underway within the Ruwais complex, will significantly increase the capability, flexibility and output of ADNOC Refining’s operations by adding to the range of crudes that can be processed," the press release read.
The investment program will also see the entire Ruwais complex upgraded to increase its flexibility and integrated capabilities to produce greater volumes of higher-value petrochemicals and derivative products, it added.
It includes a plan to build one of the world's largest mixed feed crackers, trebling ADNOC's production capacity from 4.5 million tons per annum (mtpa) in 2016 to 14.4 mtpa by 2025.
According to the statement, in addition to investing in its refining and petrochemicals operations, ADNOC will also develop an integrated downstream ecosystem in Ruwais, including new derivatives and conversion parks, to stimulate In-Country Value creation, employment opportunities, and private sector and GDP growth. It also intends to undertake highly targeted overseas investments to secure greater market access for its downstream products.
Thursday's announcement follows last month's signing of two strategic equity partnerships between ADNOC, Eni and OMV, covering both ADNOC Refining and a new trading joint venture, which will be jointly established by the three partners.
Eni and OMV will acquire 20 percent and 15 percent shares in ADNOC Refining, respectively, with ADNOC owning the remaining 65 percent. Eni and OMV will also own 20 percent and 15 percent of the shares of the trading joint venture, respectively.
By Hale Turkes