Saudi Aramco CEO signs off on $13-billion gas project

Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin H. Nasser presided over a signing ceremony of the Fadhili gas project, marking a new milestone in the company’s drive to expand gas production and supply to meet growing domestic demand for energy. The new Saudi Aramco mega project will help boost production and supply with clean-burning natural gas, lessening dependence on oil for power generation.

Nasser said this “project will significantly increase gas production, lessen dependence on oil, and enable job creation, in alignment with Saudi Vision 2030 objectives.” The ceremony also was attended by executives from engineering, procurement and construction companies involved in the development of the Fadhili project.

Scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019, the Fadhili gas project will become a key component of the Kingdom’s master gas system, processing gas from onshore and offshore fields.
Together, with Wasit and Midyan, Saudi Aramco’s two other new major gas projects, Fadhili will add more than 5 Bcfgd of non-associated gas processing capacity. The increase in the supply of natural gas will grow above 17 Bcfgd by 2020, creating opportunities in Saudi industries including steel, aluminum, and downstream value-added industries.

The project will be developed at a total cost that exceeds 50 billion Riyals ($13 billion) with emphasis placed on in-Kingdom expenditures, benefiting localization initiatives that will reach 40% of the total cost.

The plant is expected to accommodate 4,500 jobs for Saudis between professional training, permanent and temporary jobs. A dedicated training center is expected to be established in the area in collaboration with governmental agencies focused on human resource development. The Fadhili training program, to be set up in partnership with project contractors, will provide Saudi nationals with opportunities to gain work experience and technical skills. Furthermore, partner contractors will sponsor developing young engineers at their offices across the world.

Nasser said, “Saudi Aramco’s multi-billion-dollar investment in Fadhili will considerably increase the share of gas in the Kingdom’s energy mix and fits in with our long-term strategy to lower emissions. Gas will be of vital importance to the Kingdom’s ongoing industrial diversification and economic development while enabling better energy efficiency in the utility sector. The increased gas production will mean more feedstock for industries to expand, and new ones to emerge that will help drive job creation, a key objective of Saudi Vision 2030.”

Nasser added, “On its own, Fadhili is a pacesetter among mega projects in Saudi Arabia where local sourcing and manufacturing for goods and materials will reach 40%, as well as being the first Saudi Aramco project to run on low btu gas. Environmentally, the plant is unique because it is designed for maximum sulfur recovery of 99.9%, utilizing the tail gas treatment process, reflecting Saudi Aramco’s pioneering environmental stewardship.”

Specifically, Fadhili will process a total of 2.5 Bcfd of non-associated gas, including 2 Bcfd of Hasbah offshore gas and 500 MMcfd of Khursaniyah onshore gas. It is expected to produce 1.5 Bcfd of sales gas, 4,000 metric tons of sulphur per day, and will supply 470 MMcfgd to an adjacent cogeneration power plant, which will provide Fadhili with power and steam requirements, in addition to supplying approximately 1,100 megawatts of electricity to the domestic grid.

Saudi Aramco is also exploring future opportunities of environmental significance at Fadhili, which may include a helium recovery plant and a CO2 recovery unit to reduce emissions. To date, 10 contracts have been awarded with 4 additional contracts added recently:
1. Larsen & Tubro for Fadhili Offshore Facilities
2. Saudi KAD for Fadhili Downstream
3. Saudi Electric Company and Engie for the Fadhili Combine Heat & Power (CHP)
4. Mohammed I. Al Subeae & Sons Investment Holding Company for the Fadhili Residential Camp