Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi told the forum that Saudi Arabia’s most important challenge is to maintain the country’s ability to provide jobs for future generations. Hence the ministry is leading initiatives to “build an integrated industry starting from the extraction of raw materials to the manufacture of end products, thereby transforming the kingdom into a leading industrialized country.”

At the core of the integration will be worldscale petrochemicals projects, incorporating not only commodity polymers but also the high value and specialty chemicals increasingly in demand in major global industries such as automotive and electronics. Key projects include the Kemya (SABIC/ExxonMobil joint venture) 400,000 tons/year elastomers (synthetic rubbers) plant, and the Sadara (Saudi Aramco/Dow) and Petro Rabigh-2 (Aramco/Sumitomo) specialty chemicals and plastics complexes (see table). (CONTINUED - 785 WORDS)