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June 3, 2008

Saudi Aramco and Total select Axens Technologies

Gerald Ondrey

Axens (Rueil-Malmaison, France has been awarded a design package for the new, 400,000 bbl/d, world class, full-conversion refinery in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The refining and petrochemical complex is scheduled
to start-up in 2012. Among the units that are being designed by Axens and its Alliance partners are a 32,000 bbl/d vacuum gas oil fluid-catalytic cracker (VGO FCC) and a ParamaX Aromatics Complex producing 700,000 m.t./yr of  paraxylene and 143,000 m.t./yr of benzene.

The FCC unit, designed to produce in excess of 10 wt.% propylene, is one of the latest from the successful 25 year FCC Alliance between Axens, Shaw, IFP and Total. The association has led to nearly 40 licenses and more than 100 revamps of various licensors units. The Jubail unit will include impact feed injectors, RS2 riser termination device and KFBE structured stripper packing.
The ParamaX Technology Suite comprises a 68,000 bbl/d naphtha hydrotreater and Aromizing Continuous Catalytic Regeneration (CCR) Reformer to produce gasoline blend stock and mixed xylenes. The xylenes are then submitted to Morphylane extractive distillation; high purity paraxylene is separated in the Eluxyl unit; and the paraxylene-depleted xylenes fraction is isomerized in the
XyMax EB-dealkylating xylenes isomerization unit.

ParamaX designates a suite of technologies for the production of paraxylene and benzene from naphtha. Axens and ExxonMobil Chemical have entered into an Alliance to provide paraxylene production technologies for grassroots paraxylene complexes around the world. Uhde’s Morphylane process is also a part of the ParamaX Technology Suite.

Aromizing, Eluxyl, ParamaX and RS2 are proprietary commercial names of Axens. XyMax is a proprietary process name of Exxon Mobil Corporation. Morphylane is a proprietary commercial name of Uhde. KFBE is a proprietary commercial name of Koch Glitch.

Saudi Aramco and Total have agreed to form a joint venture company. Saudi Aramco will supply the project with 400,000 bbl/d of Arabian Heavy crude oil. Saudi Aramco and Total will share the marketing of the refinery production.

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