State-owned Saudi Aramco is moving forward with five key projects under a major industrialization drive in the kingdom. On 24 September Japan’s JGC Corporation announced it has been awarded a contract to build an aromatics plant as part of the $20bn Sadara Chemical Company joint venture between Saudi Aramco and US firm Dow Chemical. The Sadara plant is being built at Jubail and is intended to attract petrochemicals based manufacturing industry to the area. Saudi Aramco is also studying bids from international engineering firms to build the Jazan refinery, which is intended as a foundation for the Jazan Economic City in the under-developed southwest of the kingdom.

A JGC statement said the lump sum turnkey Sadara contract calls for engineering, procurement and construction services for an aromatics plant in Jubail Industrial City II, with completion scheduled for 2014. While the value of the contract and the capacity of the plant were not disclosed, JGC did say that the aromatics unit will be one of the key upstream manufacturing units in the Sadara complex. Sadara’s 26 manufacturing units will produce a wide range of performance products such as polyurethanes (isocyanates, polyether polyols), propylene oxide, propylene glycol, elastomers, linear low density polyethylene, low density polyethylene (LDPE), glycol ethers and amines. (CONTINUED - 1662 WORDS)