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
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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.


Can a hungry Mali turn rice technology into ‘white gold’?

Updated 20 October 2018
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Can a hungry Mali turn rice technology into ‘white gold’?

  • Malians are cautiously turning to a controversial farming technique to adapt to the effects of climate change
  • Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new method was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983

BAGUINEDA: When rice farmers started producing yields nine times larger than normal in the Malian desert near the famed town of Timbuktu a decade ago, a passerby could have mistaken the crop for another desert mirage.
Rather, it was the result of an engineering feat that has left experts in this impoverished nation in awe — but one that has yet to spread widely through Mali’s farming community.
“We must redouble efforts to get political leaders on board,” said Djiguiba Kouyaté, a coordinator in Mali for German development agency GIZ.
With hunger a constant menace, Malians are cautiously turning to a controversial farming technique to adapt to the effects of climate change.

 

Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new method was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983. It involves planting fewer seeds of traditional rice varieties and taking care of them following a strict regime.
Seedlings are transplanted at a very young age and spaced widely. Soil is enriched with organic matter, and must be kept moist, though the system uses less water than traditional rice farming.
Up to 20 million farmers now use SRI in 61 countries, including in nearby Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ivory Coast, said Norman Uphoff, of the SRI International Network and Resources Center at Cornell University in the US.
But, despite its success, the technique has been embraced with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Uphoff said that is because it competes with the improved hybrid and inbred rice varieties that agricultural corporations sell.
For Faliry Boly, who heads a rice-growing association, the prospect of rice becoming a “white gold” for Mali should spur on authorities and farmers to adopt rice intensification.
The method could increase yields while also offering a more environmentally-friendly alternative, including by replacing chemical fertilizers with organic ones, he said.
He also pointed out that rice intensification naturally lends itself to Mali’s largely arid climate.

FACTOID

Up to 20 million farmers now use rice intensification in 61 countries, including in nearby Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ivory Coast.