Saudi Aramco is beginning to reap the rewards of developing two giant petrochemicals joint ventures with a combined price tag of almost $30bn – the $20bn Sadara complex built with US firm Dow Chemical and the $9.1bn Rabigh-2 expansion of the existing Petro Rabigh refining and petchems JV with Japan’s Sumitomo. Both are in the vanguard of the state petroleum giant’s push further downstream into petchems in search of bigger returns on produced crude oil.

While much of the output from two plants will be exported, some is earmarked for sale to manufacturers who are building processing plants in nearby industrial zones. Aramco says that the PlasChem Park, being built alongside Sadara at Jubail on the Saudi Gulf coast, will create 1,500 direct jobs and generate opportunities for thousands more indirect jobs. The PlusTech Park, being developed alongside the Petro Rabigh complex at Rabigh on the Red Sea coast, will generate more than 2,000 jobs and attract private sector investment of over $1bn, according to Aramco. (CONTINUED - 730 WORDS)