Aramco, TotalEnergies to build petrochemical complex

The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) and TotalEnergies have taken the final investment decision for the construction of a world-scale petrochemical facility in Saudi Arabia. The ‘Amiral’ complex will be owned, operated, and integrated with the existing SATORP refinery located in Jubail on Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast. The investment decision is subject to customary closing conditions and approvals.

The petrochemical facility will enable SATORP to convert internally produced refinery off-gases and naphtha, as well as ethane and natural gasoline supplied by Aramco, into higher-value chemicals, helping to advance Aramco’s liquids-to-chemicals strategy.

The complex will comprise a mixed feed cracker capable of producing 1.65 million tons per annum of ethylene, the first in the region to be integrated with a refinery. It will also include two state-of-the-art polyethylene units using Advanced Dual Loop technology, a butadiene extraction unit, and other associated derivatives units.

The project alone represents an investment of around USD 11bn, of which USD 4bn will be funded through equity by Aramco (62.5%) and TotalEnergies (37.5%). Its construction is scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2023 with commercial operation targeted to start in 2027.

Eventually, the complex will provide feedstock to other petrochemical and specialty chemical plants, located in the Jubail industrial area, which will be built, owned, and operated by globally renowned downstream investors, entailing an estimated additional USD 4bn of investments. This will support the establishment of key manufacturing industries such as carbon fibers, lubes, drilling fluids, detergents, food additives, automotive parts, and tires.

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