Aramco, SABIC announce Yanbu as the site for the crude-oil-to-chemicals complex

Aramco, SABIC announce Yanbu as the site for the crude-oil-to-chemicals complex
Published: 4 November 2018 - 1 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery

Saudi Aramco and SABIC have announced their selection of Yanbu, on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, as the site for the development of an integrated industrial complex to convert crude-oil-to-chemicals (COTC).

The announcement by Saudi Aramco and SABIC, the two largest industrial entities in Saudi Arabia, reflects the high importance both companies place on making the kingdom a key hub for global chemicals production. The complex will utilise an economically viable, innovative configuration to convert crude oil to chemicals. This process is unprecedented in the industry.

The COTC complex is expected to process 400,000 barrels per day of crude oil, which will produce approximately nine million tonnes of chemicals and base oils annually and is expected to start operations in 2025.

The complex is expected to create an estimated 30,000 direct and indirect jobs, further stimulating the kingdom’s economic diversification efforts. By 2030, the COTC complex is expected to have 1.5% impact on the kingdom’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with investments being shared equally by both companies.

Consistent with the kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic transformation programme, this project will support the creation of a world-leading downstream sector in Saudi Arabia, built on four key drivers: maximising value from the kingdom’s crude oil production via integration across the hydrocarbon chain; enabling the creation of conversion industries to produce semi-finished and finished goods to help diversify the economy; developing advanced technologies and innovation; and enabling sustainable development in alignment with the kingdom’s National Transformation Program.

The announcement strengthens the alliance between the two largest Saudi global entities and solidifies the kingdom’s position as a global leader in chemicals by substantially increasing production and maximising value across the entire hydrocarbons chain.

Earlier this year, Saudi Aramco and SABIC awarded the project management and front-end engineering to Wood and KBR, respectively. The partners are working on finalising the selection of leading-edge technologies to complement their technologies.

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