Oil and Gas

Saudi Aramco and Total sign MoU to build a giant petrochemi­cal complex


The new complex will be located in Jubail close to the SATORP refinery which has been in operation since 2014. The new complex will be located in Jubail close to the SATORP refinery which has been in operation since 2014. During the official visit to Paris by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Aramco and Total signed a memorandum of understand­ing to build a giant petrochemi­cal complex in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

The complex will be integrated downstream of the SATORP refinery, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco, which owns a 62.5 per cent holding, and Total, with 37.5 per cent, in Jubail, in a move designed to fully exploit operationa­l synergies. The SATORP refinery commenced production with a capacity of 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) at its startup in 2014 and this has increased to 440,000 (bpd) today.

Located next to the SATORP refinery in the same industrial area, the complex will comprise a world-size mixed-feed steam cracker, 50 per cent ethane and refinery off-gas, with a capacity of 1.5mn tonnes per year of ethylene and related high-added-value petrochemi­cal units. The project will represent an investment of around $5bn. The two partners are planning to start the front-end engineerin­g and design in the third quarter of 2018.

The cracker will feed other petrochemi­cal and specialty chemical plants, representi­ng an overall $4bn investment by third party investors. In total, $9bn will be invested, creating 8,000 local, direct and indirect, jobs. The project will produce more than 2.7mn metric tonnes of high value chemicals. “The agreement deepens the exemplary relationsh­ip enjoyed by our two companies over many decades. It is one that has evolved from a standard buyer-seller arrangemen­t to one imbued with common interests to further develop and diversify our businesses,“commented Amin H. Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco.

“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 maximising 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.

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