Saudi Aramco plans to build the “world’s largest” complex for converting crude oil to chemicals in Saudi Arabia, furthering the state-owned firm’s mission to diversify its operations under the government’s Vision 2030 initiative, global chemicals producer Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) announced in a Nov. 26 press release.
The two firms entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) concerning the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for the crude oil to chemicals (COTC) complex before a final investment decision is made, the SABIC release said.
“This project converges the commercial and strategic interests of both Saudi Aramco and SABIC, while reinforcing Saudi Aramco’s efforts to optimize the investment of our petroleum resources,” said Saudi Aramco president and chief executive officer Amin H. Nasser in a statement. “COTC will also help expand our downstream portfolio, reducing our focus on the transportation sector and securing new and promising commercial opportunities.”
Slated to begin operations in 2025, the complex has an expected processing capacity of 400,000 barrels/day of crude oil that will produce 9 million tn/yr of chemical and base oils, SABIC said.
“Once completed, this project will not only be the largest crude oil to chemicals complex in the world, it will also set a new competitive threshold thanks to the project’s mass scale and the benefits derived from our joint collaboration,” SABIC vice chairman and chief executive officer Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan said in the release.
In June 2016, the companies signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) to conduct a feasibility study for the complex.