Saudi Aramco, Total sign agreement for giant petrochemicals complex in Jubail

Aramco and Total have signed the agreement in Dhahran to build the world-class complex announced last April. (SPA)
Updated 14 October 2018
0

Saudi Aramco, Total sign agreement for giant petrochemicals complex in Jubail

  • Aramco and Total have signed the agreement in Dhahran to build the world-class complex
  • The project represents an investment of approximately $5 billion and is scheduled to start operating in 2024

JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco and Total signed on Monday a joint development agreement for a giant petrochemical complex in the Kingdom’s Jubail Industrial City.

President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, Amin H. Nasser, and the CEO of Total, Jean Pouyanné, have signed the agreement in Dhahran to build the world-class complex announced last April.

The site will be located next to the cutting edge SATORP refinery and will be joint operated by Saudi Aramco and Total.

It will comprise a mixed-feed cracker – the first in the Arabian Gulf to be integrated with a refinery – with a capacity of 1.5 million tons per year of ethylene and related high-added-value petrochemical units.

The project represents an investment of approximately $5 billion and is scheduled to start operating in 2024.

The project will also provide feedstock for other petrochemical and specialty chemical plants located in the Jubail industrial area and beyond, representing an additional $4 billion investment by third party investors, benefitting the Saudi economy.

Overall, the complex represents an investment of approximately $9 billion and is expected to create 8,000 local direct and indirect jobs.

“The petrochemicals sector has been undergoing significant growth globally and is one of the future growth engines,” Aramco CEO Nasser said.

“SATORP’s second-phase expansion represents a significant value addition in Saudi Aramco’s downstream strategy to maximize the full value of our vast resources portfolio and position the Kingdom as a chemicals manufacturing and exports hub, supporting economic growth and diversification as part of Vision 2030.”

Total CEO Pouyanné said: “We are delighted to write a new page of our joint history by launching a new giant project, building on the successful development of SATORP, our biggest and most efficient refinery in the world.”

Saudi Aramco and Total signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in April.


Nissan meets to replace Ghosn, as tensions with Renault grow

Updated 17 December 2018
0

Nissan meets to replace Ghosn, as tensions with Renault grow

  • The decision on replacing Ghosn at Nissan is being led by an advisory committee that includes a former Renault executive
  • The Japanese company removed Ghosn from his post last month after he was detained on allegations of under-reporting his salary

TOKYO: The board of automaker Nissan meets Monday to discuss replacing former chairman Carlos Ghosn after his arrest for financial misconduct, as tensions grow in the firm’s alliance with Renault.
The Japanese company removed Ghosn from his post last month after he was detained on allegations of under-reporting his salary.
But it appears unlikely to agree Monday on a permanent replacement for him, in part because of open discord in its alliance with French automaker Renault.
Nissan itself faces charges for allegedly submitting financial documents that understated Ghosn’s pay, and Renault is now reportedly seeking more sway on the Japanese firm’s board.
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Renault urged Nissan in a letter to hold a shareholders meeting to discuss Renault’s representation on the firm’s nine-member board and within its top management.
It warned that Nissan’s indictment “creates significant risks to Renault, as Nissan’s largest shareholder, and to the stability of our industrial alliance,” the Journal reported.
A source with knowledge of the issue confirmed that Nissan had received the letter and was planning an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting in January.
Renault’s letter is the latest sign of the tensions in the alliance that groups the firm with Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors — a partnership that Ghosn forged and was often credited with holding together.
While Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors quickly removed Ghosn from leadership positions after his arrest, Renault has kept the auto executive on as CEO and chairman.
And while Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa launched a broadside against his former mentor shortly after his arrest, describing his “dark side,” Renault has approached the allegations more cautiously.
The decision on replacing Ghosn at Nissan is being led by an advisory committee that includes a former Renault executive, and Japanese media reports suggested it was unlikely to reach a decision on Monday.
“It slows things down, but it isn’t the end of the world,” a source close to the issue told AFP.
“We need to let them talk and decide properly. That’s more important than rushing.”
The company is instead likely to announce new governance measures intended to address criticism that it failed to prevent Ghosn’s alleged misconduct.
As his former employer wrangles over his replacement, Ghosn remains in the one-man cell at a Tokyo detention center he has occupied since his shock arrest on November 19.
Prosecutors have already charged him with under-reporting his pay by around $44 million over the five years to 2015, and are also investigating claims he under-reported it further in the last three years.
He will be detained until at least December 20, when prosecutors will either file new charges or request another 10-day detention period while they continue investigations.
A range of additional claims of financial misconduct have been made against Ghosn, including using Nissan funds to purchase homes around the world, though prosecutors have yet to level those accusations formally.
He and his former right-hand man Greg Kelly, who is also under arrest, reportedly deny any wrongdoing.
The charges have sparked a legal battle over Ghosn’s flat in Rio de Janeiro, with Nissan trying to prevent his family members from accessing the property and removing items.
A Brazilian court authorized relatives to access the apartment, despite claims from Nissan that they were removing corporate documents.
Ghosn’s arrest marked a stunning reversal of fortune for the Franco-Brazilian-Lebanese tycoon, once revered in Japan for effectively rescuing Nissan from insolvency.
He helped engineer the alliance between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi, creating a partnership that sold more cars than any other globally last year.