Aramco to sign chemicals project deal with SABIC

Updated 10 May 2016
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Aramco to sign chemicals project deal with SABIC

DHAHRAN: Saudi Aramco expects soon to sign a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Basic Industries Corp. for a joint oil-to-chemicals project, CEO Amin Nasser said.

SABIC has previously said the proposed project could cost as much as $30 billion, processing petrochemicals directly from crude oil instead of first refining the oil into products such as naphtha.
“It makes absolute sense as Aramco is specialized in oil and refining, and SABIC in petrochemicals,î said one industry source familiar with the project, adding that the scheme could create as many as 100,000 jobs directly and indirectly.
Aramco’s participation could benefit SABIC by giving it better access to funding as well as assistance in marketing products, said Mazen Al-Sudairi, head of research at Al-Istithmar Capital.
“The change in feedstock prices prompted SABIC to change strategy — they want to produce specialty products — and with Aramco possibly joining them as an investor, it will open a big door for them,” he said.
Also Tuesday, CEO Amin Al-Nasser said Saudi Aramco will keep expanding despite low crude prices, its president said on Tuesday.
“Saudi Aramco will continue to expand,” Al-Nasser said during a tour of the company’s headquarters on Saudi Arabia’s Gulf coast in Dhahran, where it drilled its first test well in 1935.
Even though the current situation “is challenging, it is an excellent opportunity for growth,” said Nasser, as the industry worldwide reels from the collapse in oil prices.
Globally, Saudi Aramco is seeking new joint ventures abroad, said the CEO, naming Indonesia, Vietnam, India and China.
Asked to elaborate, he said: “Right now we’re looking at refining, integrated petrochemicals.”
Aramco has meanwhile begun work on a “world class” maritime complex which would conservatively create 80,000 direct and indirect jobs and have a $17-billion impact on gross domestic product.
The complex in Ras Al-Khair would provide engineering, manufacturing and repair services for offshore rigs, commercial vessels and offshore service vessels.
It will be fully operational by 2021, said the CEO.
The company which has its own entrepreneurship center also wants to create 200 small and medium-sized enterprises as part of the Vision 2030.
“This is a very important program,” said the CEO.
“There will be major expansions in all aspects of Saudi Aramco,” he said.


Nissan panel to recommend outside director to chair board: report

Updated 2 min 53 sec ago
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Nissan panel to recommend outside director to chair board: report

  • Under Nissan’s current corporate charter, the position of board chair is automatically appointed to head the company board
  • Former Chairman Carlos Ghosn had filled both roles prior to his arrest in November
TOKYO: A Nissan Motor governance committee will recommend the appointment of an external director as board chairman, a role distinct from company chairman, in a move to decentralize power at the top level, the Nikkei business daily reported on Sunday.
Under Nissan’s current corporate charter, the position of board chair is automatically appointed to head the company board, the Nikkei said citing a source. Former Chairman Carlos Ghosn had filled both roles prior to his arrest in November for under-reporting his salary for eight years.
The issue of Nissan’s chairmanship is now particularly important after the Japanese firm identified the concentration of power in one executive as one of the reasons Ghosn was able to carry out his alleged fiscal misconduct.
Speculation has swirled about whether the newly appointed chairman of France’s Renault, Jean-Dominique Senard, would assume the chairmanship of the Japanese automaker.
The Nikkei report comes after the governance committee said in a statement that the separation between operation and oversight was among topics discussed on Friday at the committee’s third meeting since it was formed in December after Ghosn’s arrest.
The panel, comprising three Nissan external board directors and four third-party members, is scheduled to make recommendations to Nissan’s board in March on how to tighten lax governance and approval processes for matters including director compensation and chairman selection.
A spokeswoman for the committee said it could not comment on potential recommendations before they are submitted to the Nissan board. Nissan did not immediately reply to emailed request for comment.