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A History of Petrochemical Firsts

In the Middle East, oil and gas technology has come a long way. 

For more than half a century, Honeywell has played a leading role in introducing new technology that has helped shape the Middle East's vast oil and gas industry.

In recognition of Honeywell's crucial role in the development of dozens of projects across the Middle East, Rebecca Liebert, president and CEO of Honeywell UOP was recently named one of the Top 50 Most Influential Individuals in Refining and Petrochemicals Middle East magazine.

As Honeywell continues to work with companies across the Middle East on innovative solutions that meet evolving needs and changing times, here’s a look back at some of the pioneering projects that shaped the industry.

A History of Petrochemical Firsts in the Middle East
1963: Saudi Aramco started up the country’s first Honeywell UOP Merox unit at the Ras Tanura refinery. It enabled Aramco to produce low-sulfur fuels and petrochemicals -- products that met tighter environmental regulations, especially in export markets.
A History of Petrochemical Firsts in the Middle East
1970s: Using Honeywell technology, the Middle East’s first hydrocracking unit began operations at Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Oil Refinery, converting crude oil into gasoline and jet fuel. The region also started up its first gas treatment processes in Abu Dhabi to clean and chill liquefied natural gas. These technologies helped establish a robust downstream business during a period of considerable fluctuation in the oil and gas market.
A History of Petrochemical Firsts in the Middle East
1984: Abu Dhabi licensed its first Honeywell UOP hydrocracking unit at the Ruwais Refinery. This enabled the United Arab Emirates to grow its economy by entering the more lucrative downstream industry.

A History of Petrochemical Firsts in the Middle East
1987: The first detergent complex in the Middle East went into production in Iraq, using Honeywell technology. This development helped Iraq become self-sufficient in meeting domestic and regional consumer demand for biodegradable detergents, a key ingredient of which is derived from kerosene.
A History of Petrochemical Firsts in the Middle East
2008: The National Petrochemical Industrial Company in Saudi Arabia became the first operator in the Middle East to use Honeywell’s C3 Oleflex™ process technology. It converts propane into propylene, the intermediate compounds that are used to make a range of plastic materials.

Josh Byerly
Performance Materials and Technologies