Saudi state oil giant Aramco and US firm Dow Chemical have approved a plan to build a $20 billion chemical plant in the eastern Saudi port city of Jubail, Aramco said in a statement Monday.
“Saudi Aramco and the Dow Chemical Company today announced that the boards of directors of both companies have approved the formation of a joint venture to build and operate a world-scale, fully integrated chemicals complex in Jubail Industrial City,” the statement said.
“Total investment for the project, including third-party investments, will be approximately $20 billion,” the statement on Aramco’s website added.
The company will be called the Sadara Chemical Company, and the first production units are expected to come online in the latter half of 2015, it said.
“This project represents a key milestone in Saudi Aramco’s ambitious downstream growth strategy,” Aramco president and CEO Khalid Al Falih said in the statement.
“Many of Sadara’s products will be produced for the very first time in Saudi Arabia.
“This enterprise will play a key role in the kingdom’s industrial and economic diversification while contributing to the creation of thousands of high quality jobs,” Mr. Falih said.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, and other oil-rich Gulf states are making efforts to diversify their economies which are heavily dependent on oil revenues.