Saudi Arabia has announced more than $2bn worth of new petrochemical investment deals, which include a new polyacrylamide plant and an ammonia project in Jubail.
The deals were signed in Riyadh between the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and five chemical majors, namely, German BASF, Anglo-Dutch Shell, Japanese Mitsui & Co, French SNF and Dutch Advanced Metallurgical Group (AMG).
SAGIA and Mitsui & Co signed a $1bn deal to evaluate the establishment of an ammonia plant in Jubail with an estimated production capacity of 1m tonnes/year.
The two sides also agreed to jointly develop a specialty chemicals downstream opportunity, according to a post on Twitter by SAGIA.
Shell signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with SAGIA to study the potential for building residue upgrading catalyst manufacturing facility in Jubail, the Anglo-Dutch energy giant said in a separate statement on 21 November.
Residue upgrading catalysts are critical in helping refineries upgrade the bottom of the oil barrel into more valuable products, including generation of petrochemicals feedstocks.
“New global fuel regulations and an increased focus on oil to chemicals, have significantly increased the number of residue-upgrading units already in operation, in construction or being planned,” said Andy Gosse, president of Shell Catalysts & Technologies.
“With these opportunities comes the challenge of producing the large volume of catalysts that will be required,” Gosse said.
In addition, SAGIA signed an MoU with German chemicals major BASF to evaluate and assess opportunities in Saudi Arabia, and another MoU with SNF to evaluate the establishment of a polyacrylamide plant in Jubail.
The Saudi state foreign investment license provider also signed a $400m partnership deal with AMG to assess the feasibility of building a facility to reclaim and recycle valuable metals in the Kingdom.