Aramco and TotalEnergies to build $11bn facility in KSA

World scale petrochemical facility in eastern KSA is expected to begin production in 2027

The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) and TotalEnergies have announced that construction of a world scale petrochemical facility in Saudi Arabia will begin in 2023, with an investment of around US$11 billion.

In a statement, Aramco said that the Amiral complex will be owned, operated, and integrated with the existing SATORP refinery, which is located in Jubail, on Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast. It added that the investment decision is subject to customary closing conditions and approvals. 

Commercial start-up is targeted for 2027, it stated. The company explained that 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 chemical strategy.

Aramco President and 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.”

The complex will comprise of a mixed feed cracker capable of producing 1.65 million 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.

With regards to the the investment into the project, US$4 billion will be funded through equity by Aramco (62.5%) and TotalEnergies (37.5%), the statement continued.

TotalEnergies Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné, stated: “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 maximizing the synergies within our major platforms.”

Providing Feedstock

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 $4 billion of investments.  

This will support the establishment of key manufacturing industries such as carbon fibres, lubes, drilling fluids, detergents, food additives, automotive parts and tires.

The overall complex, including adjacent facilities, is expected to create 7,000 local direct and indirect jobs. 

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, the statement concluded.

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