Axens’ APC to Optimize SAMREF’s Prime-G+ Unit Performance

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SAMREF (Saudi Aramco Mobil Refining Company) has selected Axens to evaluate, develop and implement an Advanced Process Control (APC) system for their Prime-G+ unit for the desulfurization of the FCC gasoline to ultralow sulfur content.The objective of the APC solution is to achieve substantial economic benefit by providing extremely precise control of product sulfur content while minimizing octane loss and reducing consumption of hydrogen and utilities.

This project has been managed by Axens’ APC experts in close collaboration with SAMREF engineers.

Axens’ experience in APC developments combined with their unique process licensor insight has enabled a rapid implementation of a turnkey solution with substantial quantifiable results.

Success relied on a proven methodology, tailored control strategy, inferential modules based on catalytic reaction kinetics resulting in a robust and easy to maintain process control solution.

While ensuring the tight low sulfur specification in the product, the APC application is generating a benefit of up to US $ 5.66 million per year.


SAMREF is an equally owned joint venture between Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) and Mobil Yanbu Refining Company Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation). Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) is the world’s largest oil producing and exporting company and was established by Royal Decree in 1988 to assume the responsibilities of its predecessor, Aramco that has a history dating back more than 70 years.

Exxon Mobil Corporation is a global energy company with a history dating back more than 132 years and which conducts business in 140 countries on every continent throughout the world.

SAMREF is a complex refinery which was formed in 1981 for the development, construction, ownership and operation of crude oil refining facilities in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. Following the construction and start-up of the facilities, it commenced operations on November 15, 1984. The design capacity was 263,000 barrels per day of Arab Light Crude, but through a continuous improvement of its facilities, it now processes about 402,000 barrels per day.


Axens,, an IFP Group affiliate, is an international provider of advanced technologies, catalysts, adsorbents and services, with a global reputation for basic engineering design excellence. The main scope of Axens' business is focused on the conversion of oil, coal, natural gas and biomass to clean fuels as well as production and purification of major petrochemical intermediates. Axens’ global offer is based on: highly trained human resources, modern production facilities and extensive commercial feedback from plants using our processes and catalysts all around the world.