Saudi state petroleum firm Aramco and France’s Total, partners in the Satorp refinery at Jubail on the Gulf coast, are talking with banks to refinance $2.2bn of the joint venture’s debt, according to a 3 October Bloomberg report. The partners are looking to cut the borrowing cost on loans taken out to finance development of the refinery. Aramco and Total raised $8.5bn of project finance to fund the $14bn project (MEES, 18 December 2015). The twin-CDU Satorp refinery reached full capacity of 400,000 b/d late 2013. Satorp’s crude distillation capacity was expanded to 440,000 b/d in a first debottlenecking project completed in early 2018, with a further expansion to 460,000 b/d in 2020 awarded earlier this year (MEES, 8 February).

The planned $2.2bn debt refinancing may not be the last time Aramco and Total jointly tap banks in the near future. The partners are integrating a 1.5mn t/y cracker and 800,000 t/y polyethylene plant with the Satorp refinery, in the $5bn Amiral project. The partners also anticipate third party companies developing petchems plants with a combined $4bn of capacity under Amiral, processing feedstock from the refinery (MEES, 11 October and MEES, 7 June). (CONTINUED - 188 WORDS)