Saudi Aramco has taken steps to initiate the bidding process of the long awaited straddle plant and the expansion of both the Hawiyyah gas plant and the Juaymah gas fractionation plant. The projects are being taken up at an estimated total cost of $1,300 million. The largest single project in the program is the estimated $900 million straddle plant with a capacity to treat about 3,800 cubic feet a day (cf/d). The facility will handle mainly natural gas liquids (NGL) from the Haradh and Hawiyyah gas plants. Additional input is expected to come from any new non-associated gas development in what was initially termed as CV-1 in the now abandoned gas initiative.
Aramco is also working to select the project management consultants for the expansion of the 1,600 million cubic feet a day Hawiyah gas plant. This project would expand the capacity of the Hawiyah plant by an additional 800,000 cf/d. The capacity of 600,000 barrels a day Juaymah gas fractionation plant would also be increased, after the completion of the project. Saudi Aramco is also proceeding with negotiations with international oil companies on the estimated $3,000 million Rabigh refinery upgrading and ethane cracker project. In addition, a propane dehydrogenation unit has also been envisaged in the project for the production of polypropylene.