19/10/2017 10:25 AST

Partners Total and Saudi Aramco are discussing an expansion project to increase the capacity of their joint-venture refinery in Saudi Arabi by roughly 10%, Total’s CEO Patrick Pouyanne said Wednesday.

The Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co., known as SATORP, currently process 400,000 barrels per day (BPD) of Arabian heavy crude oil. The complex, located in Jubail, on the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, produces fuels and a wide range of petrochemicals products.

“We are working with Saudi Aramco, discussing gas allocation,” Pouyanne told reporters in London. “To go up to 440,000 BPD can be quick,” through greater efficiency, he said.

In July, industry sources said Total was considering building a mixed-feed cracker and derivatives complex in Saudi Arabia. The so-called Admiral project would feature a cracker with capacity to process 1.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of ethylene near SATORP.

The greenfield project is said to not include a refinery expansion, which has been under discussion for years. It’s estimated to cost in the range of $3-$5 billion, Kallanish Energy notes.

A Total spokesperson said then that developing petrochemical units downstream of SATORP’s refinery is consistent with the company’s strategy. That is, “to invest in major integrated refining and chemicals platform and capitalize on advantaged feedstock.”

However, she noted “the main issue is the gas feedstock allocation.”

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