Saudi Arabia intends to establish two large petrochemical projects in the twin industrial cities of Jubail and Yanbu at a total cost of SR23 billion, Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Ali Al-Naimi announced yesterday.
The Jubail project would be implemented in cooperation with European, Japanese and American companies, he said. A large part of its capital will be floated for public subscription, in coordination with the Capital Market Authority, he added.
The minister has already approved the allocation of necessary amounts of ethane, propane, butane and natural gas required for the two giant projects. We have also agreed with the Saudi company to sell part of its shares in existing and new projects in an IPO, he explained. The Jubail complex would have a number of new petrochemical plants and products such as vinyl ethylene vinegar, methyl methacrylates, poly methyl methacrylates, acrylonitrile, poly acrylonitrile, carbon fibers, sodium cyanide, poly propylene and high density polyethylene.
Some of these products are going to be manufactured for the first time in the Kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency quoted the minister as saying, adding that they would be used for making other products.
Referring to the Yanbu project, Al-Naimi said it would also have units for new petrochemical products including poly butylenes. A research center will be established as part of the project to develop new products using its products. The Yanbu company will also float part of its capital in an IPO.
Al-Naimi said the new projects were part of the government's strategic plan to expand its economic and industrial base.
These projects will increase the added value of the Kingdom's natural resources, the minister pointed out. The new projects come after the launch of the construction of the largest integrated refining and petrochemical complex in Rabigh, 200 km north of Jeddah, last month.
Due to the enormous size of the project, the two companies decided to involve several local and international financial institutions in funding the Rabigh complex.
In a related development, Prince Saud ibn Abdullah ibn Thunayan, chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, yesterday signed an agreement for building the commission's main center in Riyadh. The three-story building at the intersection of King Khaled Road with Makkah Road near the Diplomatic Quarter will have a permanent exhibition hall.
Prince Saud said the center was planned to meet future requirements of the commission. It also comes at a time when the Royal Commission has begun construction work for the Jubail-2 and Yanbu-2 industrial cities.
He said the new center would be used to receive high-ranking officials and guests including heads of state, ministers and chief executives of international companies.