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Total Signs Deal With Saudi Aramco

Oil giant Total has signed a joint development agreement with Saudi Aramco for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) to construct a giant petrochemical site in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

This represents another milestone for the project, which will provide feedstock to other petrochemical chemical plants also located in Jubail, on the eastern coast of the country. It is thought that it will boost investment by third party investors to the economy by $4 billion (£3.04 billion) once it is up and running.

Chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco Amin H Nasser said: “Today’s signing will deliver on multiple levels, from high-value fuels and petrochemical products for consumers on three continents to meaningful job creation and local content development.”

The complex will sit beside the SATORP refinery and consist of a mixed-feed cracker, handling 50 per cent of ethane and refinery off-gases. This facility, which will be the first to be used together with the refinery in the Gulf, will have a capacity of 1.5 million tons per year of ethylene and other high-added value petrochemicals.

During construction and operation of the site, it is thought an additional 8,000 local direct and indirect jobs will be created, further boosting the country’s economy.

Chairman and chief executive officer of Total Patrick Pouyanne added the new project “fits with our strategy to expand in petrochemicals by maximising the synergies within our major platforms”.

It is not just the Gulf where petrochemical investment is increasing, and earlier this year, Ineos revealed its plans to invest 2.7 billion (£2.38 billion) into petrochemical sites in Europe.

The two facilities, which will use tank breather valves when operational, will be situated in the north-west of the continent, with Belgium and Germany thought to be the possible locations for the plants.