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Saudi Arabian refinery expansion delayed

01 October 2008

Three refinery projects in Saudi Arabia have been delayed, according to the Middle East Economic Survey. Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical's joint expansion of the Ras Tanura complex faces delays because the project is believed to be too large for contractor KBR and needs to be divided with another company.

According to earlier statements by officials, it had been expected that the expansion would be operational in the first quarter of 2012. The expected cost of the project is believed to be around $8 billion.

Bids for investment at another facility at Jazan have been delayed by nearly a year to March 2009 while an incentives package is prepared. The start-up of a plant to be operated by Rabigh Refining & Petrochemicals will probably be delayed, the company warned the Saudi stock exchange in a statement on 7 September.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, is planning to raise refining capacity by 50% to provide fuel oil and gasoline for soaring local demand, and benefit from exporting high-value oil products.

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