To say Saudi Arabia is investing in downstream petrochemical projects is an understatement. Led by the massive grassroot Yanbu oil-to-chemicals plant complex, nearly 200 active petrochemical projects, with a combined total investment value of more than $43 billion, are being tracked by Industrial Info.

Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation’s (SABIC) and Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) are performing the project scope study for the $30 billion in the Yanbu complex. “Derived from improved refining technology, the crude oil-to-chemicals process will involve innovative configurations with proven conversion technologies,” according to a last year press statement by SABIC. “This will create a fully integrated petrochemical complex, which maximizes chemical yield, transforms and recycles by-products, drives efficiencies of scale and resource optimization and diversifies the petrochemical feedstock mix in the Kingdom.”

A feasibility study is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter this year. Pending the results of that study, construction could kick off in mid-2019, with completion in mid-2021. The facility would produce ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene and xylene. If green-lighted, the project would help advance the country’s Saudi Vision 2030 goals to develop the downstream sector.

Other Saudi Arabia petrochemical projects include:

  • Farabi Petrochemical Company’s $1 billion grassroot linear alkyl benzene (LAB) and derivatives plant project at Yanbu Industrial City. Construction could begin by the end of this year, with completion in the second quarter of 2020. Using diesel from the Yanbu Refinery as feedstock, it would produce 220 million pounds per year of LAB and other derivatives.
  • Global Company for Downstream Industries’ $500 million Jubail (Plaschem Park) Grassroot Specialty Chemical Complex. Now in the project scope stage, the facility would produce 350,000 tons per year of specialty chemicals from aromatics concentrate sourced from a Sadara Chemical Plant. Construction could kick off by late 2018, with completion at the end of 2020.
  • Sadara Chemical Company’s $500 million Al-Jubail Paraxylene Unit addition. Final commissioning is under way for the project, which will produce 460,000 metric tons per year of paraxylene. It is located at Sadara Petrochemical Complex Al-Jubail Industrial City II. Construction kicked off in mid-2012.
  • Saudi Aramco’s $350 million Rabigh Low Density Polyethylene Unit Addition, Phase II. Completion of the 265 million pound-per-year unit is expected this May.

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