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Aramco and TotalEnergies have taken the final investment decision for the construction of a US$11bn world scale petrochemical facility in Saudi Arabia

Refinery new AdobeStock 202041790The complex will begin operations in 2027. (Image source; Adobe Stock)

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 contain a mixed feed cracker capable of producing 1.65mn 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 represents an investment of around US$11bn, of which US$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 US$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.

Aramco president & CEO, Amin H. Nasser, said, “Our long-standing relationship with TotalEnergies has been further strengthened by this important project, which represents an opportunity for us to showcase the potential for cutting edge liquids to chemicals technologies that support the circular economy. With this collaboration we aim to expand the value chain by producing advanced chemicals more efficiently than ever before, accelerating industrial progress in the Kingdom.”

TotalEnergies chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné, said, “We are delighted to write a new page of our joint history by launching this expansion project, building on the successful development of SATORP, our biggest and most efficient refining and petrochemicals platform in the world. It also deepens the exemplary relationship between our two companies over many decades in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This world-class complex also fits with our strategy to expand sustainably in petrochemicals by maximising the synergies within our major platforms.”

In July 2022, SATORP was the first MENA refinery to be certified ISCC+, an international recognition towards its circular initiatives, such as the recycling of plastic and used cooking oil. A first batch of recycled plastic was processed by the refinery in November 2022.