A massive petrochemical complex worth $11 billion will be built in Saudi Arabia as a result of the joint efforts of Saudi oil giant Aramco and the French supermajor TotalEnergies, says the joint statement of the companies issued Thursday.
The construction of the “Amiral” petrochemical complex is expected to begin on Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast in the first quarter of 2023 whereas the launching of the commercial operations is planned for 2027.
Around $4 billion of the $11 billion investment in the petrochemical project- which will be owned, operated, and integrated with the existing SATORP refinery in the Jubail industrial area – will be funded by Aramco (62.5%) and TotalEnergies (37.5%) through equity.
The companies noted in the joint statement that the petrochemical facility will help advance Aramco’s liquids to chemicals strategy by enabling the SATORP refinery to convert internally produced refinery off-gases, naphtha, as well as Aramco-supplied ethane and natural gasoline into higher value chemicals.
The mixed feed cracker in the complex – the first in the region to be integrated with a refinery – will be capable of producing 1.65 million tons of ethylene a year. The facility also has two polyethylene units that will use Advanced Dual Loop technology, a butadiene extraction unit as well as other associated derivatives units.
The overall complex is expected to create 7,000 jobs locally, including in adjacent facilities, and will eventually provide feedstock to other petrochemicals and specialty chemical plants in the Jubail, which would require an estimated $4 billion of additional investment by globally renowned downstream investors.
Expansion of Saudi Aramco’s petrochemicals business both at home and abroad is a pillar of the company’s strategy to capture a larger share of the market segment where oil demand is expected to grow for decades.
TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanné pointed out that the “Amiral” also fits with their strategy for sustainable expansion in petrochemicals by maximizing the synergies within its major platforms.