Saudi Aramco selects Dow as potential jv partner

10 July 2006 14:58  [Source: ICIS news]

Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura complexLONDON (ICIS news)--Saudi Aramco, the Saudi Arabian oil major, has selected Dow Chemical as a potential joint venture partner for a world-scale chemicals and plastics complex at Ras Tanura.

The two companies said in a statement on Monday that the proposed project would be integrated with the existing 550,000 bbl/day Ras Tanura refinery complex in the country’s eastern provice, which is one of the world’s largest refinery complexes.

“When fully operational, the new petrochemical complex would be one of the largest plastics and chemicals production complexes in the world and be ideally situated to access most major world markets,” the companies said.

They added that the joint venture would produce an extensive and diversified slate of chemicals, and introduce new value chains and specialty products to the Kingdom.

“The availability of these chemicals in the Kingdom would facilitate the development of downstream conversion industries and the further industrialisation of the Kingdom,” Saudi Aramco and Dow said.

A Dow spokesman said it was too early to give exact details and costs of the project, adding that the two companies would be working on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) over the next several months.

Saudi Aramco has previously said the project would produce about 3m tonnes/year of olefins and aromatics, and more than 4m tonnes/year of polymers and other petrochemicals. This would include both commodity and specialty chemicals, the Dow spokesman added.

He said that for Dow this was a demonstration of the company's strategy of finding ways to achieving a low cost position, through amongst others, gaining access to low cost feedstocks.

By: Hilde Ovrebekk
+44 20 8652 3214

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