(EnergyAsia, December 16 2014, Tuesday) — Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery Company Limited (SAMREF), an equal joint venture of state-owned Saudi Aramco and ExxonMobil, has completed construction of major desulphurisation facilities including a new hydrotreater at their 400,000 b/d Yanbu oil refinery to drastically cut sulphur levels in gasoline and diesel.SAMREF, which was established in 1984, started up the plant’s first phase in 2011 with a unit to desulphurise 60,000 b/d of gasoline and a 98,000 b/d distillate hydrotreater and refinery utilities infrastructure.

The project’s second phase included a new high pressure distillate hydrotreater, hydrogen manufacturing, sulphur recovery, and off-sites and utilities infrastructure.

“The project is the largest investment in SAMREF’s history and will reduce the sulphur levels in gasoline and diesel by more than 98% to 10 parts per million, which makes the refinery an industry leader in emissions reduction,” the companies said in a joint statement.

“Our long-term partnership benefits from the technology and innovation from both companies,” said Khalid Al-Falih, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco. “Our refinery will continue to be an industry leader throughout the Middle East and in the global market place well into the future. It is also testimony of Saudi Arabia’s long-standing role as a reliable energy supplier to key geographic areas of the world.”

Darren Woods, Exxon Mobil Corp’s senior vice president, said:

“The successful, recent startup of the project illustrates the refinery’s advancements and preparations to meet global energy demands.”

Mohammad Al Naghash, SAMREF’s president and CEO, said:

“The company contributes to the global competitiveness of Saudi Arabia by providing world class fuels, but also creating jobs and improving the surrounding environment.”