MENA refiners are mulling new capacity expansion projects in the midst of a construction program that could add as much as 2.86mn b/d of crude distillation capacity during 2013-18. Three 400,000 b/d refineries are at various stages of development in Saudi Arabia, while expansions are under way in the UAE and Oman. Algeria has joined the capacity rush, starting work on the first of four 100,000 b/d refineries due on stream in 2017.

Saudi Aramco is nearing completion of the Satorp refinery in Jubail and progressing the Yasref plant in Yanbu’ (MEES, 1 March). It recently started work at Jazan on a refinery and 2.4gw power plant (MEES, 23 November 2012). These will form the backbone of Jazan Economic City (JEC). On 25 March King ‘Abd Allah directed the petroleum ministry to have Saudi Aramco develop infrastructure at JEC. Saudi Aramco chief Khalid al-Falih said the company is leveling land and preparing to build port facilities, before starting work on infrastructure for JEC’s basic and downstream industries as well as a residential zone. (CONTINUED - 570 WORDS)