Aramco, Sumitomo make giant strides on Rabigh II development

Updated 26 May 2012
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Aramco, Sumitomo make giant strides on Rabigh II development

DHAHRAN: Saudi Aramco, together with its partner Sumitomo Chemical, have made significant progress on the feasibility of the Rabigh Phase II Project and will proceed to implement the expansion of a world-class petrochemical complex on the Kingdom's west coast.
Rabigh II will complement Saudi Aramco’s existing petrochemical investment portfolio especially in light of the Rabigh I petroleum refining and petrochemical production complex, currently owned by Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Company (PetroRabigh), a joint stock company initially founded by Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical.
The Rabigh II feasibility study and front-end engineering design work were jointly undertaken and funded by Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo. As part of the next phase implementation of Rabigh II, Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical are finalizing various project milestones, including contracts for engineering, procurement and construction and other project-related agreements, as well as project financing.
Utilizing leading-edge technologies from Sumitomo Chemical and other companies, Rabigh II will explore maximization of existing synergies, the utilization of Saudi manpower, and development of the Kingdom's conversion industries.
“Our long standing partnership with Sumitomo Chemical continues to make further inroads with Rabigh II representing a significant milestone in Saudi Aramco’s downstream portfolio expansion and diversification strategy,” said Saudi Aramco CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih. “Both sponsors are thankful to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources for their continued support for Rabigh’s expansion projects, and through which we endeavor to create further value for our stakeholder communities in the Kingdom with new businesses, entrepreneurial and job opportunities.”
Rabigh II’s development will include a new aromatics complex and an expanded facility to process 30 million standard cubic feet per day of ethane and approximately 3 million tons per year of naphtha as feedstock to produce a variety of high value-added petrochemical products. The total project investment is currently projected to reach approximately $7 billion.
The project is expected to begin operations in the first half of 2016. It is envisaged that PetroRabigh will be approached in due time and presented with the opportunity to serve as the project company for Rabigh II subject to PetroRabigh’s independent evaluation of the project feasibility results and separate corporate and regulatory approval procedure.
Rabigh II’s main products will be ethylene propylene rubber, thermoplastic polyolefin, methyl methacrylate monomer, polymethyl methacrylate, low density polyethylene/ ethylene vinyl acetate, para-xylene/benzene, cumene and phenol/acetone. Additionally, Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical will continue to implement other product lines on optimal schemes to realize further project optimization.


Foreign investment in Bahrain rising sharply, authorities say

Updated 3 min 34 sec ago
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Foreign investment in Bahrain rising sharply, authorities say

DUBAI: New foreign direct investment in Bahrain more than doubled in the first nine months of 2018 as the kingdom marketed itself as a base for companies to access the region, especially Saudi Arabia, data released on Tuesday showed.
Investment commitments between January and September jumped 138 percent from a year ago to a record $810 million from 76 firms, said the Economic Development Board, an investment promotion agency. That compared to $733 million in all of 2017, and was over five times the amount of FDI in 2015.
The rise in FDI is good news for Bahrain’s balance of payments, which has been under pressure as the kingdom runs fiscal and current account deficits fueled by low oil prices.
The central bank’s net foreign reserves hit a one-year low of 499.4 million dinars ($1.32 billion) in July, although they rebounded to 734.2 million dinars last month.
Manufacturing and logistics accounted for most foreign investment in the first nine months of this year, the EDB said. Some companies are locating operations in Bahrain to take advantage of reforms in Saudi Arabia, which aims to develop non-oil industries such as mining, light manufacturing and tourism.
Bahrain also wants to become a center for financial technology; last year it created a “regulatory sandbox” allowing companies in the field to experiment without facing normal regulatory constraints.
This year it established a $100 million fund of funds to support technology start-ups across the region, which it hopes will attract venture capital firms to Bahrain.