Reuters cited Saudi Basic Industries acting CEO Yousef Abdullah al-Benyan as saying: "In fact we did sign the contract – we have not yet agreed with the supplier to publicly announce it, but we did firm up a contract for gas supply."

Claiming the project to be the first in the UK to use shale gas exported from the US Gulf, Benyan said that the company will reveal the timing and other details of the project by next quarter.

"It is going to meet our full demand for the next ten years and is renewable beyond ten years."

Previously, the company announced that it was forced to seek investment opportunities abroad due to shortage of gas supplies in the UK. However, last year it revealed plans to modernize its Teesside cracker aimed to capitalize on US shale gas opportunities.

Sabic is also planning to build a plant that can convert crude oil directly into chemicals, without having to refine it. The proposal was initially announced by Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi in 2014.