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Aramco advances $7bn South Korea petrochemicals project

Saudi Aramco
South Korean President Yoon (centre) and Aramco President & CEO Amin Nasser at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Shaheen project in Ulsan, South Korea

Saudi Aramco has broken ground on the $7 billion Shaheen petrochemical project, one of the largest integrated steam crackers in the world, in Ulsan, South Korea.

The Shaheen project, announced in November 2022, is being developed by Aramco affiliate S-OIL and is considered an important part of Aramco’s regional crude-to-chemicals strategy, the oil major said in a statement.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and Aramco president and CEO Amin H. Nasser were present at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Located at S-Oil’s existing site in Ulsan, the new plant is planned to have the capacity to produce up to 3.2 million tons of petrochemicals annually and include a facility to produce high-value polymers. The project is expected to be completed by 2026.

It aims to convert crude oil into petrochemical feedstock and will represent the first commercialisation of Aramco and Lummus Technology’s TC2C thermal crude to chemicals technology, which will increase chemical yield and reduces operating costs.  

Upon project completion, S-OIL chemical yield based on volume will almost double to 25 percent, expanding Aramco’s liquids to chemicals capacity to up to four million barrels per day.

Aramco holds a more than 63 percent stake in S-OIL through its Aramco Overseas Company BV subsidiary.