Saudi Aramco and SABIC have announced Yanbu, on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, as the site for the development of a USD20 billion integrated industrial complex to convert crude oil to chemicals (COTC).
The announcement by Saudi Aramco and SABIC, the two largest industrial entities in the Kingdom, reflects the high importance both companies place on making the Kingdom a key hub for global chemicals production. The complex will utilize an economically viable, innovative configuration to convert crude oil to chemicals. This process is unprecedented in the industry.
The COTC complex is expected to process 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, which will produce approximately nine million tons of chemicals and base oils annually and is expected to start operations in 2025.
The complex is expected to create an estimated 30,000 direct and indirect jobs, further stimulating the Kingdom’s economic diversification efforts. By 2030 the COTC complex is expected to have 1.5% impact on the Kingdom’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with investments being shared equally by both companies.
Earlier this month, Saudi Aramco commissioned the Yanbu South Terminal (YST), which added 3 million barrels per day (Mmbpd) export capacity on the kingdom’s west coast. The Yanbu industrial city already hosts other downstream facilities.
Consistent with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic transformation program, this project will support the creation of a world-leading downstream sector in Saudi Arabia, built on four key drivers: maximizing value from the Kingdom’s crude oil production via integration across the hydrocarbon chain; enabling the creation of conversion industries to produce semi-finished and finished goods to help diversify the economy; developing advanced technologies and innovation; and enabling sustainable development in alignment with the Kingdom’s National Transformation Program.
The announcement strengthens the alliance between the two largest Saudi global entities and solidifies the Kingdom’s position as a global leader in chemicals by substantially increasing production and maximizing value across the entire hydrocarbons chain.
Earlier this year, Saudi Aramco and SABIC awarded the project management and front-end engineering to Wood and KBR. The partners are working on finalizing the selection of Leading Edge Technologies to complement their technologies.
Project management and front-end engineering design (FEED) studies were awarded to KBR and Wood. The partners are now “finalizing the selection of the leading edge technologies to complement their technologies.”
The complex is expected to create 30,000 direct and indirect jobs.