Saudi Aramco and French energy major Total have signed an MoU to build a giant petrochemical complex in Jubail, Saudi Arabia that will produce more than 2.7 million metric tons of high value chemicals. The complex will be integrated downstream of the SATORP refinery, a JV between Aramco (62,5%) and Total (37,5%) in Jubail, in a move designed to fully exploit operational synergies. The MoU was signed earlier today during the official visit to Paris by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Located next to the SATORP refinery in the same industrial area, the complex will comprise a world-size mixed-feed steam cracker (50% ethane and refinery off-gas) with a capacity of 1.5 million tons per year of ethylene and related high-added-value petrochemical units. The project will represent an investment of around US $5 billion. The two partners are planning to start the front-end engineering and design (FEED) in the third quarter of 2018.
The cracker will feed other petrochemical and specialty chemical plants representing an overall amount of $4 billion investment by third party investors. In total, $9 billion will be invested, creating 8,000 local direct and indirect jobs.
Comenting on the development, Amin H. Nasser, President and Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Aramco, said, “Our joint venture SATORP is a remarkably successful model of industry partnership and we are keen to build on this success to further underpin Saudi Aramco’s strategy to expand its capacity in the chemicals sector by 2030.”
“This project illustrates our strategy of maximizing the integration of our large refining and petrochemical platforms and of expanding our petrochemical operations from low-cost feedstock, to take advantage of the fast growing Asian polymer market," commented Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total. “Furthermore, this project will enable us to strengthen our ties with Saudi Aramco, with whom we successfully operate our biggest and most efficient refinery in the world. Finally, it will contribute to the Vision 2030 of the Kingdom by creating 8,000 jobs and bringing in new high-added-value technologies.”