Aramco, Sumitomo make giant strides on Rabigh II development

Updated 26 May 2012
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Aramco, Sumitomo make giant strides on Rabigh II development

DHAHRAN: Saudi Aramco, together with its partner Sumitomo Chemical, have made significant progress on the feasibility of the Rabigh Phase II Project and will proceed to implement the expansion of a world-class petrochemical complex on the Kingdom's west coast.
Rabigh II will complement Saudi Aramco’s existing petrochemical investment portfolio especially in light of the Rabigh I petroleum refining and petrochemical production complex, currently owned by Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Company (PetroRabigh), a joint stock company initially founded by Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical.
The Rabigh II feasibility study and front-end engineering design work were jointly undertaken and funded by Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo. As part of the next phase implementation of Rabigh II, Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical are finalizing various project milestones, including contracts for engineering, procurement and construction and other project-related agreements, as well as project financing.
Utilizing leading-edge technologies from Sumitomo Chemical and other companies, Rabigh II will explore maximization of existing synergies, the utilization of Saudi manpower, and development of the Kingdom's conversion industries.
“Our long standing partnership with Sumitomo Chemical continues to make further inroads with Rabigh II representing a significant milestone in Saudi Aramco’s downstream portfolio expansion and diversification strategy,” said Saudi Aramco CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih. “Both sponsors are thankful to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources for their continued support for Rabigh’s expansion projects, and through which we endeavor to create further value for our stakeholder communities in the Kingdom with new businesses, entrepreneurial and job opportunities.”
Rabigh II’s development will include a new aromatics complex and an expanded facility to process 30 million standard cubic feet per day of ethane and approximately 3 million tons per year of naphtha as feedstock to produce a variety of high value-added petrochemical products. The total project investment is currently projected to reach approximately $7 billion.
The project is expected to begin operations in the first half of 2016. It is envisaged that PetroRabigh will be approached in due time and presented with the opportunity to serve as the project company for Rabigh II subject to PetroRabigh’s independent evaluation of the project feasibility results and separate corporate and regulatory approval procedure.
Rabigh II’s main products will be ethylene propylene rubber, thermoplastic polyolefin, methyl methacrylate monomer, polymethyl methacrylate, low density polyethylene/ ethylene vinyl acetate, para-xylene/benzene, cumene and phenol/acetone. Additionally, Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical will continue to implement other product lines on optimal schemes to realize further project optimization.


Lufthansa profit warning spooks European airline sector

Updated 17 June 2019
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Lufthansa profit warning spooks European airline sector

  • Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary last month warned of the impact of what he called ‘attritional fare wars’

FRANKFURT: Germany’s Lufthansa sent shockwaves through the European airline sector on Monday as it cut its full-year profit forecast, with lower prices and higher fuel costs compounding the effect of losses at its budget subsidiary Eurowings.
The warning follows gloomy comments last month from Irish budget airline Ryanair, which vies with Lufthansa for top spot in Europe in terms of passengers carried. Air France-KLM also reported a widening quarterly loss last month.
In a statement issued late on Sunday, Lufthansa forecast annual EBIT of between €2 billion and €2.4 billion, down from the previously targeted €2.4 billion to €3 billion.
“Yields in the European short-haul market, in particular in the group’s home markets, Germany and Austria, are affected by sustained overcapacities caused by carriers willing to accept significant losses to expand their market share,” it said.
European airlines are locked in a battle for supremacy, with a surfeit of seats holding down revenues and higher fuel costs adding to the pressure. A number of smaller airlines have collapsed over the past two years.
Lufthansa cited falling revenue from its Eurowings budget business as a key reason for the profit warning.
“The group expects the European market to remain challenging at least for the remainder of 2019,” it said.
It also pointed to high jet fuel costs, which it said could exceed last year’s figure by €550 million, despite a recent fall in crude oil prices.
Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary last month warned of the impact of what he called “attritional fare wars” and said four or five European airlines were likely to emerge as the winners in the sector.
“No signs that anyone is prepared to reduce capacity, therefore we would anticipate the wave of consolidation in European short haul is not over,” said analyst Neil Wilson, analyst at London-based broker market.com.
Earlier this month global airlines slashed a widely watched industry profit forecast by 21 percent as an expanding trade war and higher oil prices compound worries about an overdue industry slowdown.
Lufthansa’s problems are centered on its European business, with a more positive outlook for its long-haul operations, especially on transatlantic and Asian routes.
Eurowings management is due to implement turnaround measures to be presented shortly, Lufthansa said, adding that efforts to reduce costs had so far been slower than expected.
Lufthansa’s adjusted margin for earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was forecast between 5.5 percent and 6.5 percent, down from 6.5 percent to 8 percent previously, it said in a statement.
Lufthansa also said it would make a €340 million provision for in its first-half accounts, relating to a tax matter in Germany originating in the years between 2001 and 2005.