Saudi Arabia aims to transform economy with crude-to-oil projects

Saudi Arabia forays into a major economic overhaul, and targeting to develop downstream petrochem projects as well as invest into non-oil portfolios that would enable the country to wean from hydrocarbons by 2030.

In the sidelines of the kingdom’s Vision 2030, the non-oil economic revamp is expected to espouse some 200 petrochem projects with a combined total investment value of over US$43 billion, according to reports.

As the plans unfold, moves have been started up. Riyadh is reportedly expecting to generate us$100 billion in non-oil revenue by 2020; and 10 years thereafter would have created six million jobs.

SABIC and state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco initialised a joint oil-to-chemicals project with the building of a fully integrated crude-to-oil complex . The companies’ preliminary feasibility study is expected to be completed later this year; and construction may also start by mid-2019 through its completion in mid-2021. The facility process crude oil directly into petrochemicals.

Meanwhile, other petrochemicals developments are within sight of the Vision 2030; Farabi Petrochemical Company has hatched a US$1 billion linear alkyl benzene (LAB) and derivatives plant project at the complex. Construction is expected to start by year’s end and completed by second quarter of 2020. The plant will produce annually nearly 100,000 metric tonnes (220 million pounds0 of LAB and other derivatives using diesel from the Yanbu Refinery.

Sadara Chemical Company’s additional US$500 million Al-Jubail Paraxylene unit is afoot. The project will produce annually 460,000 metric tonnes paraxylene. Saudi Aramco is also adding a US$350 million-Rabigh Low Density Polyethylene unit (Phase II), expected to churn out annually an estimated 120,200 metric tonnes (265 million pound).

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