Saudi oil giant Aramco and French energy group TotalEnergies have made the final investment decision (FID) for the development of the proposed petrochemical facility in Saudi Arabia.

Estimated to cost $11bn, the Amiral complex is planned to be integrated with the existing Saudi Arabia Total Refining and Petrochemical (SATORP) refinery located in Jubail, on the eastern coast of the country.

Of the total estimated investment for the project, $4bn is planned to be funded through equity by TotalEnergies (37.5%) and Aramco (62.5%).

The firms are planning to start construction of the petrochemical facility during the first quarter of 2023, with its operation scheduled for 2027. 

The facility will be designed to enable SATORP to convert internally produced refinery off-gases and naphtha, as well as Amcor-supplied ethane and natural gasoline, into higher value chemicals.

In addition, the new complex will provide feedstock to other petrochemical and specialty chemical plants in the Jubail industrial area.

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TotalEnergies said the overall complex, together with adjacent facilities, would create 7,000 jobs. 

The complex will feature a mixed feed cracker with a production capacity of 1.65 million tonnes per annum of ethylene, two polyethylene units using Advanced Dual Loop technology, a butadiene extraction unit, and other associated derivatives units. 

TotalEnergies chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné said: “We are delighted to write a new page of our joint history by launching this expansion project, building on the successful development of SATORP, our biggest and most efficient refining and petrochemicals platform in the world.

“This world-class complex also fits with our strategy to expand sustainably in petrochemicals by maximising the synergies within our major platforms.”