Saudi Aramco and SABIC to develop COTC Complex in Saudi Arabia

SA SASaudi Aramco and SABIC have signed a MoU to develop a fully integrated crude oil to chemicals (COTC) complex in Saudi Arabia, aiming to govern the execution of the front end engineering design (FEED) before a final investment decision is made

The COTC complex is expected to process 400,000 bpd of crude oil, which will produce around nine million tonnes of chemicals and base oil annually. The operation has been scheduled to be started in 2025.

Amin H Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, said, “COTC will also help expand our downstream portfolio, reducing our focus on the transportation sector and securing new and promising commercial opportunities.”

This MoU has followed the heads of agreement (HoA) signed in June 2016, between the two companies, which governed the feasibility study for the development of a fully integrated petrochemicals complex in the Kingdom.

The complex is expected to create around 30,000 direct and indirect jobs, aiming to stimulating the Kingdom’s economic diversification. The COTC complex will have 1.5 per cent impact on the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.

Speaking to the press, Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan, vice-chairman and CEO of SABIC, commented, “This venture will contribute to the realisation of one of the major aspirations of Saudi Vision 2030, namely achieving economic prosperity by boosting our investment capacity, diversifying the economy and creating jobs for Saudi nationals.”

Consistent with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic transformation programme, this project is further expected to support the creation of a world-leading downstream sector in Saudi Arabia. According to the industry experts, the vision has been built on four key drivers, including maximising 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, developing advanced technologies and innovation and enabling sustainable development in alignment with the Kingdom’s national transformation programme.

Al-Benyan added, “The project will, therefore, help achieve the respective growth ambitions of SABIC and Saudi Aramco and further establishes the Kingdom as one of the pioneers in the petrochemicals industry.”

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