Successful Start-up at YASREF Plant

Sulzer GTC Technology recently provided the design and oversaw the commissioning of an Olefin Saturation unit for Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company (YASREF) Ltd., a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec).  YASREF is a world-class, full-conversion refinery that covers about 5.2 million square meters in the Yanbu Industrial City (Saudi Arabia), and is the key anchor project in Yanbu.  The refinery uses approximately 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Arabian heavy crude oil to produce premium transportation fuels.

The unit is designed to remove water and sulfur, along with saturating olefins in the LPG stream. Before installation of the unit, YASREF was not able to sell the product due to these impurities; half of the product (close to 50t/hr) had to be burned as fuel gas.

The project was fast track, with the design started in July 2017 and the BEP completed five weeks later. The plant was built and successfully started up in one year.  Although the facility requires a relatively small amount of equipment, the design is complicated involving guard bed regeneration with heating and cooling cycles.

The successful completion of the project was only possible with strong cooperation and diligent work from everyone involved.