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New RT Plant Produces Cleaner Diesel

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 5/18/2011, Location: Middle East

Saudi Aramco has once again proven its commitment to environmental stewardship, operational excellence and safety with the completion of the Ras Tanura diesel hydrotreater plant, which was inaugurated on May 11.

At the inauguration, president and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih said the plant will be vital in “protecting the quality of human life and our environment.”

The diesel hydrotreater is the largest of its kind in Saudi Aramco and capable of processing 105,000 barrels per day of 10-parts-per-million (ppm) ultra-low-sulfur diesel.

Completed within 28 months, the plant represents a milestone in the company’s efforts to produce cleaner fuels. The project was part of Saudi Aramco’s Environmental Master Plan, which was launched in 2001 to identify and implement capital projects that lighten the environmental footprint of the company and the products it produces.

Executives and management listen to a presentation at Ras Tanura on May 11 to mark the inauguration of a diesel hydrotreater plant that will be vital in “protecting the quality of human life and our environment,” according to Khalid A. Al-Falih.

The hydrotreater is situated in the middle of Ras Tanura Refinery and surrounded by operating facilities that continued to operate during construction of the hydrotreater.

Yanbu‘ and Riyadh diesel hydrotreaters produce 500 ppm low-sulfur diesel. By 2015, the Kingdom’s new sulfur specification will be 10 ppm, meaning the Ras Tanura diesel hydrotreater will be able to meet the future sulfur specification without any additional capital investment.

“Cleaner fuels are more efficient fuels,” said Al-Falih, “and it is vital that we improve the energy efficiency of the Kingdom.”

Saudi Aramco first introduced low-sulfur diesel into the domestic market in 2006, helping to significantly reduce the Kingdom’s sulfur emissions from diesel vehicles.

“This has yielded great benefit to air quality, especially in major cities,” added Al-Falih. “Our ultra-low-sulfur diesel also meets exacting European fuel standards.”

Completed on time and within budget, the plant will serve as a model for future Saudi Aramco projects. More than 4,000 workers totaled 16.7 million hours without logging a single lost-time injury.

Al-Falih praised the project’s team for its flawless safety performance. “On- and off-the-job safety remains the biggest challenge facing our company and our Kingdom,” Al-Falih said. “I thank everyone involved for making safety a priority.

“This project was a very complex undertaking. Its success is a tribute to the labor force of 4,000 people who were involved in the construction; to our Saudi Aramco team members in offices and departments including project management, refining, and environmental protection; and to our contractor, Samsung Engineering.”

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