Petrobras signed a preliminary agreement with Modern Mining Holding Company to undertake an in-depth study of the feasibility of developing, funding, building and operating calcined petroleum coke (CPC) plant in Saudi Arabia.

CPC is a raw material for the aluminum industry and results from the process of calcining green petroleum coke (CVP). The technique consists of heating the CVP at high temperatures to remove residues.

Last year, Petrobras and Modern Mining Holding Company had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the intention of building a plant for calcining green petroleum coke, which evolved into the agreement signed today.

The plant is expected to be built in Jubail or Raz az Zawr and to process up to 700,000 tons of CPC per year, with CVP provided by Petrobras.

The estimated investment for the project is approximately $450m, to be financed in equal shares by the partners, with the possibility of funding from government and financial institutions. The plant is forecast to go on stream in the second half of 2012.