Saudi Arabian Oil Company to develop petrochemical capacity in China and Saudi Arabia

19 December 2022 | Muriel Cozier

The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) has announced plans for petrochemical capacity in China, and Saudi Arabia.

In China, Aramco has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shandong Energy Group whereby the partners will investigate the possibility of collaborating on integrated refining and petrochemical opportunities.

The MoU includes a potential crude oil supply agreement and chemicals products off-take agreement. It also includes cooperation on technologies related to hydrogen, renewables, and carbon capture and storage. Aramco said that this latest development strengthens its plans to meet demand for energy and petrochemicals in China.

Meanwhile, Aramco has said that it will partner with TotalEnergies to build a world-scale petrochemical complex located in Saudi Arabia. The ‘Amiral’ complex will be owned, operated, and integrated into the SATORP refinery in Jubail. SATORP (Saudi Aramco TotalEnergies Refining and Petrochemical Company) is a joint venture established between the two companies during 2008 which operates a 460,000 barrel per day refinery, said to be one of the most efficient in the world.

The proposed project represents an investment of $11 billion, of which 62.5% will be funded through equity by Aramco and 37.5% by TotalEnergies. The complex will comprise a mixed feed cracker with a capacity of 1.65 million tonne/year of ethylene. Downstream production will include two polyethylene units which will use Advanced Dual Loop technology, a butadiene extraction unit, and associated derivative production plants.

Once completed, the complex will produce a range of materials and feedstocks for other petrochemical and speciality chemical plants in the Jubail industrial area. Construction is scheduled to start during the first quarter of 2023 with commercial operation in 2027.

Chief Executive Officer at Saudi Aramco, Amin H Nasser said: ‘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.’

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