The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has signed a project development agreement with Cepsa of Spain for a new, world-scale Linear Alkylbenzene (LAB) facility in ADNOC’s refining and petrochemicals complex in Ruwais, UAE. The LAB project is one among a number of initiatives to be executed as ADNOC looks to significantly enhance and expand its refining operations and capabilities to support its downstream plans.
The agreement follows the signing last November of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ADNOC and Cepsa to evaluate the setting up of a LAB facility in Ruwais. After the successful completion of a feasibility study, the project is now ready to move to the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) stage. The LAB manufacturing facility will be fully integrated within the ADNOC Refining complex, taking feedstocks of kerosene and benzene and benefitting from the suite of utilities and services of the Ruwais complex. The facility is expected to have a production capacity of 150,000 tons per year of LAB upon completion.
Cepsa is a Spanish integrated oil company, wholly owned by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company. Cepsa has over five decades of experience in LAB and brings market experience and market leading technology that provides the best raw material consumption ratios and excellent health and safety performance. LAB is the most common raw material in the manufacture of biodegradable household and industrial detergents, and is also used in house cleaners and soap bars.
Abdulaziz Al Hajri, Downstream Director at ADNOC, said: “We are pleased to be moving forward with our partnership with Cepsa, through its chemical business to develop a new LAB facility in Ruwais. As we expand downstream and grow our refining capacity and capabilities, we will be able to expand the number of new products and value chains we can create. The development of a new LAB facility will enable the emergence of a surfactants cluster in our new Ruwais Derivatives and Conversion Parks, diversifying the number and type of industries being developed there, leading to the creation of an expanded and advanced petrochemicals ecosystem in the UAE.”
Echoing this commitment towards the development of the downstream cluster, Pedro Mir?, CEO of Cepsa, said: “The start-up of this complex underscores our commitment to continue developing our international operations as part of our integrated business model. We are delighted with our collaboration with ADNOC across several of our businesses (Chemicals, E&P, Trading), and we are convinced that the future will bring us further opportunities to grow together. The Ruwais petrochemicals cluster strengthens our position as leaders in LAB and DETALTM technology, developed jointly with UOP, and adds to our plants in Spain, Canada, and Brazil, as well as giving us access to high growth markets to the east of the Suez Canal”.
The signing of the project development agreement comes as ADNOC outlined its new downstream strategy at its Downstream Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi on May 13, 2018. At the heart of this strategy, is a AED 165 billion (US $45 billion) investment program that will see the Ruwais Industrial Complex upgraded to significantly increase its flexibility and integrated capabilities to produce greater volumes of higher-value refined and petrochemical products.
ADNOC will also create a large scale, integrated manufacturing ecosystem in Ruwais through the creation of new petrochemicals Derivatives and Conversion Parks. The Ruwais Derivatives Park will be fully integrated with the larger Ruwais complex, acting as a prime catalyst for the next stage of petrochemical transformation, by inviting partners to invest and produce new products and solutions from the feedstocks that are available in Ruwais. The Ruwais Conversion Park will enable new businesses even further down the value chain, taking feedstock from ADNOC Refining, Borouge and the Derivatives Park, to manufacture higher value, converted end products, including packaging materials, coatings, high voltage insulation and automotive composites.