Suez Canal: Saudi Diesel Boosts Northbound Volumes

Egypt hopes its recently-completed $8.5bn Suez Canal expansion project will boost transit revenues. Revenues stood at $3.4bn for the first eight months of 2015, down $185mn on the corresponding period last year (see table, p16). But August takings rose to $462mn, the highest monthly figure this year, amid record northbound volumes of both crude and diesel (see graph).

A record 2.29mn b/d of diesel was shipped northbound in August as Saudi Arabia ramped up capacity at two export refineries over the last 18 months, which produce transport fuels to Euro specifications.

The 400,000 b/d Satorp refinery in Jubail was brought online in late 2013 and reached full capacity in mid-2014, while the 400,000 b/d Yasref refinery in Yanbu’ was started up in 2014 and is scheduled to reach full capacity this month. Cairo hopes to double revenue by 2023 with the possibility of two-way traffic along parts of the canal since the 6 August inauguration. Expansion plans are ongoing, with the $60mn widening of an additional 9.5km section near East Port Said on the Mediterranean coast planned (MEES, 31 July). (CONTINUED - 228 WORDS)