Report: SABIC, Aramco set to decide on oil to chemicals project in 2Q 2020

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) and Saudi Aramco expect to announce in the second quarter whether they’ll proceed with plans to build a facility to process crude oil directly into chemicals, Bloomberg reports.

SABIC is the biggest chemicals producer in the Middle East. 70% of the company was recently acquired by Saudi Aramco for $69.1 billion, sold by the Saudi PIF. The remaining 30% publicly traded shares in SABIC were not part of the transaction. Before that sale, the two companies agreed in 2016 to study the project, which would cut out a costly intermediate link in the production of plastics.

Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan, CEO of SABIC.

Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan, CEO of SABIC.

The companies are still working on the proposal, assessing technological and market risks as well as spending requirements, Sabic CEO Yousef Al Benyan said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg in Riyadh.

“We are in the phase of looking at the final scope,” Al Benyan said. “As soon as we finalize it, and I think this will come in the second quarter, we will be able to make some announcement.”

The complex, which the partners originally planned to build at Yanbu on the kingdom’s western coast, is expected to process 400,000 barrels a day of crude and produce about 9 million tons of chemicals and base oils annually, Bloomberg reports.

Headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, SABIC has global operations in over 50 countries with 34,000 employees.

[Click here to read the full report from Bloomberg]