Aramco and SABIC Sign Landmark Agreement on $20B Oil-to-Chemical Project

Saudi Arabia is making moves as it continues to steer its economy away from its traditional oil reliance.

Aramco and SABIC—Saudi Arabia’s two biggest companies—signed this week a $20 billion agreement to build for a plant to process crude oil. The step marks an encouraging move for the oil-rich nation.

SABIC is the Middle East’s biggest petrochemicals company, while state-owned Saudi Aramco is the world’s largest oil business. The companies will hold equal investment shares in the plant, according to a released statement.

“The complex will process 400,000 barrels a day once its operations start in 2025,” Aramco Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said. “We will take a decision on the final investment value after conducting detailed studies in the second stage, which will take two years.”

The benefits are two-fold. Aramco and SABIC want to produce chemicals that are used in plastics to enter consumer-goods markets, particularly in Asia, as the markets continue to grow.  Furthermore, the planned facility will create 30,000 direct and indirect jobs. By 2030, it is expected to have a 1.5 percent impact on Saudi gross domestic product.

“It serves our interests and the vision of the Kingdom to develop an economy that is not dependent on oil exports,” Nasser clarified.

Construction is to start in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Read more at Arabian Business.