RIYADH: SHARIF M. TAHA | ARAB NEWS STAFF
Published — Thursday 22 November 2012
Last update 22 November 2012 3:10 am
A high-profile business delegation representing 35 French companies, led by Total Oil Co., has announced plans to invest in a series of new joint petrochemical and industrial projects in Jubail Industrial City.
The French investors, who met recently with officials of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu (RCJY), were briefed on the investment opportunities and incentives provided by the Saudi government, as well as the availability of raw materials for their projects.
Total and Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) have already established a joint venture, Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Company (SATORP), in Jubail Industrial City II. SATORP is in the advanced stages of constructing one of the most complex refineries in the world. Saudi Aramco owns 62.5 percent of the project, while the remaining 37.5 percent is owned by Total.
The French delegation is reportedly set to seize profitable investment opportunities in various fields such as oil and gas, technology and infrastructure in the industrial city of Jubail. They visited the residential area, business center and the industrial area as well.
According to analysts, the French hope to expand their investments amid fierce competition between international companies, who in recent years have won petrochemical and refining projects worth SR 150 billion. These companies include Sadara Chemical Company (Sadara), a joint project between Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical, at a cost of SR 75 billion, SATORP project worth SR 50 billion, in addition to other projects jointly owned by Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) and other global companies.
Al-Jubail Petrochemical Company (KEMYA) last July awarded the French company Technip an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for an elastomer facility in Jubail Industrial City.
KEMYA is a 50:50 joint venture between SABIC and Exxon Chemical Arabia, an affiliate of ExxonMobil Chemical Company.