Fuel exports from Sinopec’s new Saudi refinery delayed again

Jeddah: The first exports from the new Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Co (Yasref) refinery at Yanbu port, Saudi Arabia, have been further delayed and are now expected in early 2015.

The new 400,000-bpd refinery started trial runs in September and was forecast to begin exporting fuel in November, which was subsequently delayed again until this month, Reuters reports.

It remains unclear what caused the delays at the refinery, which is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and China’s Sinopec. Sources assured Reuters that the matter is now under control.

The refinery will now only offer oil products early next year, sources said. The specific products to be exported were not named, but are likely to be off-specification high-sulphur gasoil.

Sinopec’s diesel shipments from the refinery will be aimed at markets in Europe and East Africa. The first clean diesel cargo is reportedly due in the first quarter of 2015.

Yasref is expected to produce 263,000 bpd of diesel, 90,000 bpd of gasoline, 6,200 tonnes per day of petroleum coke, 1,200 tonnes per day of pelletised sulphur and 140,000 tonnes per annum of benzene, according to figures on its website. [5/12/14]

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