In a significant new step towards the successful implementation of Saudi Aramco and SABIC’s fully integrated, strategic crude-oil-to-chemicals (COTC) complex in the Kingdom, the partners awarded Wood a contract for project management and front-end engineering design (FEED).
The award of the contract coincides with the visit of HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to the United Kingdom.
The award of this project management contract follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in November 2017 between Saudi Aramco and SABIC to assist in bringing the mega-project to its next stage of development.
The scope of the contract primarily includes the finalisation of the project scope, selection of technology providers, updating project economics and performing the FEED.
Amin H Al-Nasser, president and CEO, Saudi Aramco, said: “This is an important milestone in a partnership that we are proud of between Saudi Aramco and SABIC; a partnership that is in line with Saudi Aramco’s strategy for business integration, adding value and tackling global growth opportunities in chemicals. It is also important to mention that this project will achieve a direct conversion rate from crude oil to chemicals of almost 50%, a globally unprecedented rate. This offers the Kingdom solid opportunities to produce chemicals as a feedstock as part of Saudi Aramco’s efforts to maximise return on investments in hydrocarbon resources.”
Yousef Al-Benyan, vice chairman and CEO, SABIC, said: “I am very happy and optimistic to see the timely delivery of this key milestone in the strategic COTC project, which through an innovative configuration will generate the world's highest proven yield conversion rate of oil to chemicals in a competitive and sustainable way.”
Nasser added: “The complex will have a great economic impact and will create thousands of direct and indirect job opportunities for Saudis. In addition, the complex offers synergy and conversion of the strategic goals and objectives of Saudi Aramco and SABIC. It will be capable of maximising chemical yield, recycling by-products, optimising resources, and driving efficiencies of scale.”
Al-Benyan added: “Ours is a business relying on finite natural resources for our feedstock. We have an obligation to deploy those resources as efficiently and in the most sustainable manner possible. The COTC technology will enable us to squeeze as much value as possible from our feedstock, thereby benefitting our shareholders, our customers and the planet. The COTC project will spur on a new era of industrial diversification, job creation and technology development in Saudi Arabia.”
By 2030, the COTC complex is expected to be a significant contributor to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product and play a key role in helping the continued economic diversification away from crude exports to higher value industrial products. Consistent with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, this project will support the creation of a further diversified world-leading downstream sector in Saudi Arabia.