The Sunday Telegraph - Business & Money

Saudis to invest £250m in Teesside after summit

- By Russell Lynch

SAUDI Arabia is poised to approve a £250m green energy project in the North East as British ministers make their pitch to the world at this week’s Global Investment Summit.

Senior sources said the kingdom’s state-owned petrochemi­cals business Sabic is close to approving an invest- ment deal that would support thousands of jobs on Teesside, following months of discussion­s with ministers.

It is understood Sabic, a subsidiary of oil titan Aramco, will agree funding to restart its hydrocarbo­n “cracker” at Wilton and convert it to run on hydrogen, a greener source of energy.

Sabic’s investment is likely to be the kingdom’s second major move in the region in as many weeks after its Public Investment Fund bought Premier League football team Newcastle United.

The cracker, known as the Olefins 6 plant, breaks down hydrocarbo­ns into chemicals such as ethylene and has been shut down for over a year. The conversion of Wilton is expected to create 300 jobs and support thousands more.

It is understood that Sabic chief executive Yousef Abdullah al-benyan will meet ministers as well as Teesside mayor Ben Houchen at the summit before confirming the decision this week.

A galaxy of business leaders and politician­s including the Prime Minister will speak at the event to showcase Britain’s green opportunit­ies to about 200 top global investors. A BEIS spokesman declined to comment.

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