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Aramco, Total ink deal for giant $9bn Saudi petchems complex

Saudi Arabia, October 9, 2018

Saudi Aramco and Total on Monday signed a joint development agreement for a giant $9 billion petrochemical complex in Jubail, on Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast.

Amin H Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco and Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and CEO of Total, inked the deal relating to a project first announced in April.

The complex will be located next to the SATORP refinery, operated by Saudi Aramco (62.5 percent) and Total (37.5 percent), in order to fully exploit operational synergies, a statement said.

It will comprise a mixed-feed cracker (50 percent ethane and refinery off-gases) – the first in the Gulf region to be integrated with a refinery – with a capacity of 1.5 million tons per year of ethylene and related high-added-value petrochemical units, it added.

The project represents an investment of approximately $5 billion and is scheduled to start operations in 2024.

In a move to further develop downstream industries in the kingdom, the project will also provide feedstock for other petrochemical and specialty chemical plants located in the Jubail industrial area and beyond, representing an additional $4 billion investment by third party investors, benefitting the Saudi economy.

The overall complex will represent an investment of approximately $9 billion and is expected to create 8,000 local direct and indirect jobs.

Nasser said: “The petrochemicals sector has been undergoing significant growth globally and is one of the future growth engines... Today’s signing with our partner Total will deliver on multiple levels, from high-value fuels and petrochemical products never manufactured in the kingdom before, destined for consumers on three continents to meaningful job creation for Saudi men and women and local content development.”

Pouyanné added: “We are delighted to write a new page of our joint history by launching a new giant project, building on the successful development of SATORP, our biggest and most efficient refinery in the world.”