By Reem Shamseddine
Refinery unit started production at around 100,000bpd of ultra low sulphur diesel.
Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell's joint venture Sasref refinery has started commercial production at an ultra low sulphur diesel unit, targeting European markets.
The unit at the 305,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery, located in Jubail on the Gulf coast, started production of around 100,000 bpd of ultra low sulphur diesel, making it among the first Saudi producers with sulphur at less than 10 parts per million, Sasref said in a statement.
A company source told Reuters last month the unit would reach full production by the end of February after starting trial production.
Abdulhakim al Gouhi, president, Sasref, said: "The start of the ... unit reinforces our strategy to keep pace with future trends and comply with environmental and marketing requirements which will help Sasref to maintain its competitiveness ... in the Middle East and Asia."
In the statement, he added: "The new unit ... meets the high-standard diesel specifications in Europe."
The cost of the upgrade was valued at more than $400 million, Gouhi said in January.
The crude refinery can export as much as 60,000 tonnes of oil products per day, mainly fuel oil, naphtha, gas oil and jet. (Reuters)