Saudi Aramco and SABIC have chosen Yanbu, on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, as site to develop an integrated industrial complex to convert crude oil to chemicals (COTC).

Fadhili Gas Plant

Image: The Fadhili gas plant in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province. Photo courtesy of Saudi Arabian Oil Co.

The integrated COTC complex is anticipated to have a capacity to process 400,000 barrels per day of crude oil.

Expected to begin operations in 2025, the complex will produce nearly 9 million tons of chemicals and base oils annually.

Saudi Aramco, in a statement, said: “The announcement by Saudi Aramco and SABIC, the two largest industrial entities in the Kingdom, reflects the high importance both companies place on making the Kingdom a key hub for global chemicals production.

“The complex will utilize an economically viable, innovative configuration to convert crude oil to chemicals. This process is unprecedented in the industry.”

Giving a boosting the Kingdom’s economic diversification efforts, the COTC complex is expected to create an estimated 30,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The investments required to build the complex will be shared equally by both companies.

Saudi Aramco added: “The announcement strengthens the alliance between the two largest Saudi global entities and solidifies the Kingdom’s position as a global leader in chemicals by substantially increasing production and maximizing value across the entire hydrocarbons chain.”

Earlier, Wood and KBR secured contracts for the project management and front end engineering of the complex.

Under the contract, KBR will be responsible for the front-end engineering and design for the downstream petrochemicals and chemicals component within the COTC master complex.

The scope of the contract includes engineering studies, infrastructure planning and development for both of the polymer and glycol units, along with the aromatics complex, the COTC master plot plan, and offsite utilities.

On the other hand, Wood was contracted to offer engineering and design for the refining components, mixed feed steam cracker, on-site utilities, interface and site integration, and selection of technology providers.

In line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic transformation program, the COTC complex is said to support to bolster downstream sector in Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this month, Total and Saudi Aramco signed a joint development agreement for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) of the $9bn petrochemical complex in Jubail, on Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast.