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Our goal is to be an industry leader in sustainable cost management while preserving our natural resources for future generations.

 We recognize that air emissions, particularly greenhouse gases, are a major contributor to climate change. That's why we're committed to reducing our carbon footprint through innovative technologies and operational excellence. But our environmental efforts don't stop there. We're also dedicated to preserving biodiversity in the areas surrounding our operations, ensuring that our business practices are in harmony with the natural world.

At Petro Rabigh, we're more than just a business; we're environmental stewards, working tirelessly to protect our planet while still delivering value to our stakeholders.

 Focus Pillars for Environment

Atmospheric and GHG emissions

We are committed to reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to playing our part in addressing climate change. The Company’s ambition is to decarbonize its operations and achieve a net zero footprint in line with the target set for Saudi Arabia during the Green Initiative Forum of 2021. In pursuit of our goals, we have set preliminary interim targets for 2027, aiming to reduce our absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 25% compared to our 2021 baseline emissions. Simultaneously, our focus is on maintaining a carbon intensity of 0.54 from 2023 to 2027. These targets primarily encompass Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions, and achieving them necessitates a comprehensive range of initiatives.

To achieve the desired reductions in GHG emissions, we are employing five key levers. These include enhancing energy efficiency throughout our operations, implementing carbon capture and reuse technologies, optimizing the performance of heaters and boilers, substituting fuel oil with sales gas, removing LPG and high carbon fractions from the fuel gas network and utilizing them as feedstock, as well as implementing a robust leak detection and repair program.


Regarding specific initiatives, we have entered into a contractual agreement with Gulf Cryo, a leading industrial gas supplier, to construct and operate an onsite carbon capture facility. This facility will comprise a 300 TPD CO2 capturing unit and a truck loading facility. Engineering preparations are already underway, with the project's initial term set at 20 years and production expected to commence in 2024.


Furthermore, we are actively deploying a furnace performance-monitoring dashboard, allowing us to track essential performance indicators such as oxygen levels, temperature, and fuel consumption. To support this effort, we have engaged KBC, who is presently developing an open-loop Visual MESA model of the site-wide energy systems within our complex. This system will provide a comprehensive overview, as well as unit-specific balances of energy systems, including steam, condensates, boiler feed water, fuel, emissions, electrical, and hydrogen.


Additionally, we are progressing with the construction of necessary tie-ins and infrastructure to remove and convey LPG and high carbon fractions of the fuel gas network to an EC plant, where they will be utilized as feedstock. Moreover, we have enlisted Bureau Veritas to conduct an annual survey of 540,000 sources as part of our comprehensive leak detection and repair program, targeting a reduction in methane emissions.

Furthermore, as part of our commitment to reducing our environmental impact, we have initiated offset projects. To date, we have planted 1,000 mangroves, and our target is to plant 10,000 mangroves total by 2025, focusing on the local region.

The company incorporates the best available pollution control technology in the design and construction of its assets. It has conducted multiple environmental and social impact assessments to establish baseline site conditions. The Company undertakes continuous and periodic environmental monitoring and reporting by both Company environmental staff and third-party consultants.


Sulfur Dioxide Emissions


The sulfur-containing gases are treated in Sulfur Recovery Units (SRU) to remove 99.2% of the sulfur. The SRU-treated gases are further oxidized in a thermal oxidizer to convert the sulfur species to SO2, and the SO2 in thermal oxidizer-treated gases is then scrubbed in a caustic scrubber. In addition, the Company conducts annual stack emission testing to ensure that SO2 pollution control equipment is performing at optimum levels. Furthermore, the Company set an emission reduction target for SO2 emission. The Company’s 2022 SO2 emissions were 15,516,100 kg, which is a 39% reduction from the previous year and below the annual 10% SO2 emission target. The SO2 emission intensity is insignificant.


Nitrogen Oxide Emissions

All the company heaters and furnaces are designed with low NOx burners. The Company created a dedicated furnace performance-monitoring dashboard, allowing us to track essential performance indicators such as oxygen levels, temperature, fuel consumption, and carbon oxide levels. In addition, the Company conducts annual stack emission testing to ensure that NOX pollution control equipment is performing at optimum levels. Furthermore, the Company set a 10% emission reduction target for NOx from 2021 baseline emission. The Company’s 2022 NOX2 emissions were 46,300 kg, which is a 7% reduction from the previous year’s emissions of 49,800. The major contribution of 2022 NOx emission reduction was the shutdown of Phase 2 plants.

Other air pollutants

The company also conducts routine monitoring of emissions for the below list of air pollutants through an independent-certified third party:

  • ​Particulate Matter (PM)
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB)
  • Hydrochloric Acid (HCl)
  • Hydrogen Fluoride (HF)
  • Chlorinated of Organics
  • Cadmium (Cd)
  • Titanium (Ti)
  • Antimony (Sb)
  • Lead (Pb)
  • Cobalt (Co)
  • ​Arsenic (As)
  • Chromium (Cr)
  • Copper (Cu)
  • Manganese (Mn)
  • Nickel (Ni)
  • Vanadium (V)
  • Mercury (Hg)
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins (PCDD) and Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans (PCDF)


The emission target for the above pollutant is set not to exceed the limits specified in the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) Executive Regulation for Air, and/or World Bank and IFC guidelines. The emission of these pollutants is either nonexistent or a small fraction of regulatory allowable limits. Furthermore, the Company has been conducting ambient air quality monitoring with one fixed and one mobile ambient air monitoring station to ensure that the Company does not adversely impact the environment

The company’s emission performance demonstrates its commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility, and continuously strives to improve its emission performance by implementing best practices and technologies, complying with relevant regulations and standards, and engaging with its stakeholders.


Waste Management

We believe that waste should be regarded as a misplaced resource and that one industry’s waste can be another’s raw material. We have procedures to make sure that any solid and hazardous waste we generate is dealt with safely and prevented from causing environmental damage, whether to the air, water or ground. The responsible management of waste should ensure that no pollution is created from it, whether this entails reduction, eradication or conversion. Where elimination cannot be achieved, the amount of waste should be minimized. We’re committed to the long-term achievement of sustainable waste management and have drawn up plans to minimize waste and maximize recycling. This has the bonus of reducing the need for land for new disposal facilities and incurring charges for waste disposal.

Solid waste is a by-product of crude processing and its related activities. The types of solid waste generated include tank sludge, spent catalysts and other spent chemicals, together with general municipal (household) and recyclable waste. The amount and types of waste produced as a result of operations at Petro Rabigh is dependent on unit operation, construction/demolition work, and maintenance activities, and consequently varies from year to year.


Petro Rabigh’s Waste Minimization Program includes the sale or recycling/regeneration of the following waste streams:

  • Heavy Glycol
  • Heavy Phenol
  • Tar
  • Spent lube/transformer oil
  • Spent catalyst
  • Polymer Wax

To implement a waste minimization strategy, we’ve identified various waste minimization opportunities and have introduced a minimization program that also tracks its effectiveness. This approach not only eases the demand for land for construction of new disposal facilities, but also saves costs for treating and/or disposing of waste.

In 2022, there were no significant incidents of waste spillage and Sulphates (land transmission). For waste, a total of 430,960 MT was generated. Of this, 14.4% was diverted from disposal in landfills to be recycled or reused, exceeding the target set at 12% (of the total waste generated for the year). The remaining waste was either incinerated on-site or disposed of off-site through an approved third-party Waste Receiver.

Below table shows the summary of waste arisings categorized by disposal method, MT.

​Waste Handling Method​2020​2021​2022​% of 2022
​Waste reused, recovered, or recycled​41,17840,916​61,937​14.4%​
​Waste disposed on-site by incineration/WOA​186,054319,665​302,951​70.3%​
​Waste disposed off-site by registered waste management contractor​20,53224,243​66,072​15.3%​
Total Waste Generation, MT ​247,764 ​384,824 430,960*​ ​

*Note: Petro Rabigh Complex was partially shut down for the scheduled turnaround of its Phase II units starting from December 1, 2022 (to January 23, 2023). The turnaround activities, which covered the core plants and cleaning of ponds, generated a total of 50,535 MT of waste, and that attributed to a 11.7% increase on the total waste generated for the year.

For 2022, out of the 430,960 MT of waste generated, 430,515 MT was classified as industrial hazardous wastes (that include Aqueous waste, Spent Acid, Spent Caustic, Residual Caustic, tank bottom sludge etc.), while the remaining was non-hazardous (445 MT).


Water and Effluent Discharges Management


At our Company, we recognize the importance of water availability in our operations and strive to reduce our freshwater requirements. To achieve this, we increased the recycled water content in our production processes and reused the remaining water after treatment. Freshwater is sourced from Rabigh Power Company, which converts seawater into desalinated water. Additionally, we recycle treated wastewater to cooling as make-up water, resulting in a significant reduction in freshwater requirements.

The Environmental Governance Committee (EGC) has been established by the HSSE Steering Committee (chaired by the P&CEO) to drive accountability and ownership within the company, and to assist top management in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities in all aspects of Environmental Management System, ensuring the establishment of a sound water management strategies and performance. The EGC is chaired by the Manufacturing Senior Vice President, with members from executive management core. Moreover, the overall environmental performance of the Company and Board of Directors.

For 2022, there was no incident of wastewater effluent being released to land. Below data shows the annual average of wastewater performance (water transmission) and its corresponding annual values.


Emissions Performance

​Annual Average Values


​Annual Values

(Absolute Quantity)

​Phosphate​0.09 mg/l5.57 MT(1)
​Cadmium and its compunds*​<0.01 mg/l​0
​Lead its compunds*​<0.04 mg/l​0
​Nickel and its compunds*​<0.04 mg/l​0
​Benzene and its compunds*​<0.005 mg/l​0
​Naphthalene and its compunds*​0​0
​Pesticides*​<0.0001 mg/l​0
​Persistent Organice Pollutants (PoPs) excluding pesticides-DDT, Eldrin, Dieldrin, Heptacholr*​<0.0001 mg/l​0
​Mercury Performance​0.0001 mg/l​0
​Metals and thier comounds, including heavy metal​2 mg/l​20.31 MT
​Aggregate Emissions of Inorganic Pollutants, as reported -- Absorbable Organic Halogens​0.1 mg/l​1.2 MT
​Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)​0.005 mg/l​0.49 MT
​Other water emissions - TSS​10 mg/l​101.55 MT
​Other water emissions - Oil Content​1.74 mg/l​17.67 MT
​Ammonia​0.6 mg/l​98.53 MT
​Aggregate Emissions (Effluents) to Water, as reported​10,154.8 ML(2)​10,154,800,000 L

* Below detectable limit    1-MT: Metric Tones   2-MT: Million Liters

The company gets the comprehensive marine environmental surveys and Bioaccumulations studies done every year through prestigious and best class consultants to assess the health of the surrounding water body. We are proud to say that the surrounding marine ecosystem is preserved in its natural state. 

Recovery of Vanadium from Vanadium Treatment Facility (VTF)

During the FEED stage, it was specified that Ethylene Propylene Rubber (EPR) Unit wastewater contains higher level of Vanadium derived from catalyst. At this level of Vanadium, the downstream biological treatment process would be impacted as Vanadium has inhibitory effect on activated sludge at higher concentrations.


The company decided to construct a dedicated plant with an investment of 106 million USD to recover Vanadium from the wastewater from existing concentration of 70 mg/l to lesser than 1 mg/l. The plant has been designed by “Sumitomo Heavy Industries Environment Co. Ltd (“SHI-EV”).


The VTF plant consists of equalization tanks, cooling system, clarifier (Sumi-Thickener), polymer dosing system, filtration system (sand and cartridge), sludge dehydrator system and sludge dryers. The unit is designed to handle 135 m3/hr flow of process wastewater from EPR Plant.


The recovered vanadium is being offered for sale to one of the approved buyers engaged in precious metal recovery.


 Change in chemical recipes to limit Zinc discharge

Cooling water treatment consists of Zinc usage to prevent corrosion. It was observed that the level of Zinc in Marine sediments was increasing. Though they were below the Alert level 1, the Company started to explore alternative treatments to control the Zinc discharges. A pilot scale study was done in CT-1, the chemical recipe was changed with silicate-based treatment that utilizes lower concentration of Zinc. Upon successful trial the same recipe was replicated in all the remaining 10 cooling towers. Subsequent marine surveys confirmed that the Zinc concentration started depleting in the sediments.


Enhanced pretreatment to Flare Blow down Wastewater

The Flare area blow down water was to be treated in Wastewater treatment plant (by design). The Company observed that this stream is rich in Sulphide, Ammonia and oil content that occasionally imparts shock loading on the wastewater treatment process. A project was initiated to re-route this stream for pre-treatment in Sour Water Stripper unit to remove the contaminant and reduce the load from WWTP. Upon successful execution of the project, this stream is permanently diverted for pre-treatment. The project resulted in better performance of WWTP.


Utilization of treated wastewater as Utility Water

The Company partially recycles (~8%) its treated wastewater as Utility water. This not only reduces the net wastewater discharge from the Company but also saves the equivalent amount of freshwater consumption.


Stripped water usage in Process Plants

The stripped water from Sour Water Stripper units is partially utilized (5%) in low grade water usage as crude desalting process and wash water within the operating plant. This reduces the demand for fresh water.

Elimination of Storage of Spent Caustic in Open Pond


The Company has adjusted its process and also installed a Spent Caustic Incinerator with an overall investment of 42 million USD to treat the Spent Caustic waste on site. This has helped in eliminating the storage of Sulfidic spent caustic in open ponds which was creating an odor nuisance. Now, entire Spent Caustic is managed within closed tanks and treated successfully on-site.     


Plan to upgrade WWTP

In addition to the above initiatives, the company is working on upgrading its wastewater treatment plant which will help in further reducing its environmental impacts on the water receiving bodies and surrounding air environment.


Biodiversity Net Gain

Our facilities are located on the Red Sea and in close proximity to ecologically sensitive areas. The full nature and scale of our Company's past, current, and future impacts, both positive and negative, on these natural environments are continuously scrutinized and assessed.
Being a member of the TNFD (Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures) the Company contribute to Biodiversity Net Gain by providing transparency on the impact and reliance on nature. This would help achieve global biodiversity targets by disclosing natural capital information.
Petro Rabigh is committed to monitoring the ambient water quality and assessing the environmental conditions of the surrounding marine area. Since 2009, Petro Rabigh conducts an annual marine survey and bioaccumulation studies in the Red Sea to ensure that the numerous and huge activities conducted at the Petro Rabigh do not have a negative impact on the surrounding marine environment. The annual assessment is consisted of many surveys to investigate the following:

  • Determine physicochemical conditions and chemical contaminant concentration of seawater and sediments at sampling locations in the Rabigh coastal and marine waters and at increasing distances (up to 3 km) away from the marine terminals.
  • Describe the eco-biological characteristics of Rabigh waters of Red Sea.
  • Determine the chemical contaminant concentration in biota (fish, benthic invertebrate and coral reefs).
  • Determine diversity, richness and abundance of coral reef, fish and benthic fauna.

Marine ecosystems are under threat from various human activities, such as overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction, and climate change. One of the most visible and harmful impacts of human activities on marine ecosystems is the accumulation of plastic and other debris in AlKharar Bay, which can harm marine life, degrade water quality, and affect human health.
To address this problem, a restoration initiative was initiated in a coastal area that was heavily affected by plastic and debris pollution. The project had three main objectives: 1) to remove plastic and debris from the marine ecosystem (Figure 1), 2) to introduce mangrove saplings that provide habitat and protection for marine life in the impacted area, and 3) to increase public environmental awareness and participation in the conservation of marine ecosystems. This restoration project is registered / nominated for John Rieger Award at the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER 2023)


 Figure 1: Amount of Plastic/ Debris Removal from Marine ecosystem


Green Rabigh

Increasing vegetation cover in desert areas can have many benefits such as reducing soil erosion, increasing soil fertility, and improving air quality. It can also help to reduce the impact of climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In addition, it can provide habitat for wildlife and increase biodiversity. The company established “Green Rabigh” program with the aim to increase vegetation cover in Petro Rabigh residential complex and Rabigh Town. The program started as a celebration of the World Environment Day event in June 2021 and continued to this day. Vegetation cover increase in numbers tabulated below:

​Date Area Coverd (square meter)
June 5Th 2021 ​4739
​March 2022 ​4061
​March ​1747
​Total Area ​10,547


Type of planted trees:

Date Area Coverd (square meter)
Jasminum beesianum Red Jasmin
​Gardenia jasminoides ​Gardenia
​Brabejum stellatifolium ​Wild Almond
​Tabernaemontana divaricata ​The pinwheelflower
​Caesalpinia pulcherrima ​Peacock Flower
​Jasminum sambac  ​Arabian Jasmine
​Cyperus alternifolius ​Umberlla Plant
​Ficus Benjamina ​Weeping fig

 PRC received the approval from the governmental 8th Committee for the Protection of the Coastal Zones environment, to plant 10.000 mangroves seedlings in the bay adjacent to the community residential complex. Plantation of 1000 mangroves begun on November 1st, 2022 (Q4) (figure 2) the Environment section will continue the plantation activities in the current year 2023.


The 2023 Annual Marine Survey and the IUCN status of the Red Sea coral species

The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity. It is a powerful tool to inform and spark action for biodiversity conservation and policy change, which is essential to safeguarding the natural resources we depend on for survival. IUCN red list is much more than a list of species and their status. Range, population size, habitat and ecology, use and/or trade, threats, and conservation measures are all covered in this information, which will aid in making the necessary conservation decisions.

Accordingly, the results of the current coral reefs survey are compared to the red list in order to achieve a good understanding of the conditions of different types of coral reefs in the vicinity of PRC. Table 1 lists the abbreviation of different categories of the IUCN list and their abbreviations.

Most of the coral species recorded during the present survey (62%) are of Least Concern (LC). On the other hand, about 35% of the species are under threat, where 22% are in the Near Threatened (NT) category and 13% Vulnerable (VU) species. Data are Deficient (DD) for 3% of the species (Table 6.5 and Fig. 6.41). Table 6.6 lists all the recorded coral species in the PRC region and their IUCN status.

Examples of the nearly threatened species include Acropora formosa, A. secale, A. tenuis and Favites abdita. The Vulnerable (VU) group that faces the danger of collapse includes Acanthastrea hemprichii, A. ishigakiensis, Acropora hemprichii, A. pharaonic, Pavona danai and Physogyra lichtensteini. Data was insufficient for Montipora stilosa and Acropora lamarcki (Table 2).

Table 1: Categories of the IUCN Red List

Code ​Description
Not evaluated
​Species that have not been applied to extinction criteria, and therefore are not at risk of extinction.
Data deficient
​No data is available on its distribution in nature or its exposure to threats.
Least concern
​Species unlikely to become endangered or extinct in the near future.
Near threatened
​Species close to being endangered in the near future.
​The population of the species has decreased by 50% during the last 10 years or along three generations.
​The population of the species has decreased by 70% during the last 10 years or along three generations.
Critically endangered
​The population of the species has decreased by 90% during the last 10 years or along three generations.
Extinct in the wild
​The death of the last individual in wild is proved and species is found only in captivity.
​Extinct ​EX ​The death of the last individual of the species is proved in wild and in captivity.


Ta ble 2: Classification of the status of the recorded hard coral and soft coral species in the red list

(IUCN, 2022)

Species ​IUCN status ​Species ​IUCN status
Acanthastrea hemprichii ​VU ​Lobophyllia corymbosa ​LC
​Acanthastrea ishigakiensis ​VU ​Lobophyllia hataii ​LC
​Acropora cytherea ​LC ​Lobophyllia hemprichii ​LC
​Acropora formosa ​NT ​Millepora dichotoma ​LC
​Acropora gemmifera ​LC ​Millepora exaesa ​LC
​Acropora hempricii ​VU ​Montipora efflorescens ​NT
​Acropora pharaonis ​VU ​Pavona danai ​VU
​Acropora secale ​NT ​Physogyra lichtensteini ​VU
​Acropora tenuis ​NT ​Platygyra lamellina ​NT
​Astreopora suggesta ​LC ​Pocillopora damicornis ​LC
​Coscinaraea monile ​LC ​Porites lutea ​LC
​Ctenactis crassa ​LC ​Porites mayeri ​LC
​Ctenactis echinata ​LC ​Porites nodifera ​LC
​Cyphastrea sp. ​LC ​Porites solida ​LC
​Dipsastraea speciosa ​LC ​Seriatopora hystrix ​LC
​Echinopora gemmacea ​LC ​Stylophora pistillata ​NT
​Echinopora lamellosa ​LC ​Echinophyllia sp. ​LC
​Favia favus ​LC ​Plesiastrea versipora ​LC
​Favia pallida ​LC ​Podobacia crustacea ​LC
​Favites abdita ​NT ​Gonipora columna ​NT
​Fungia fungites ​NT ​Platygyra daedalea ​LC
​Fungia granulosa ​LC ​Montipora stilosa ​DD
​Galaxea fascicularis ​NT ​Montipora venosa ​NT
​Goniastrea australensis ​LC ​Acropora lamarcki ​DD
​Goniastrea edwardsi ​LC ​Astreopora suggesta ​LC
​Goniastrea pectinata ​LC ​Pocillopora verrucosa ​LC
​Herpolitha limax ​LC ​Diploastrea heliopora ​NT
​Leptoseris mycetoseroides ​LC ​Turbinaria peltata ​VU


The annual marine survey and bioaccumulation study for the 2023 report will cover species with special emphasis to those classified as of vulnerable or sensitive global conditions in the IUCN-red list. A comparison between the conditions of the species in the Petro Rabigh Premises and those vulnerable species in the list will be given at the end of each relevant chapter.

Resource Consumption and Efficiency

Our Company is one of Saudi Arabia's main petrochemical and refinery installations and, as such, has national strategic importance. Accordingly, we need to ensure our continued viability and resilience by demonstrating and reporting best in international class in production efficiency to our shareholders and interested third parties. Water production, consumption, and efficiency of use are significant issues that need to be addressed as they have a high embodied carbon content and environmental footprint. Looking to the longer term, Petro Rabigh will embrace and harness the circular economy at an industrial scale to source and process renewable resources as raw materials. In addition, the displacement and replacement of fossil fuel-based energy sources with renewable energy sources will become an increasing priority as the organization progresses towards a lower carbon footprint.

Currently, Petro Rabigh is aiming to be ISCC (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) certified because it ensures that we comply with globally recognized ecological and social sustainability requirements, voluntary greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and traceability throughout its supply chain. An ISCC PLUS certification provides entry into the Circular Economy which can further strengthen the Company’s environmental credibility.


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