SABIC and Saudi Aramco agree to study oil-to-chemicals project

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Saudi Aramco and SABIC signed the heads of agreement for the oil-to-chemicals feasibility study in Dhahran. Saudi Aramco was represented by Abdulaziz Judaimi, business line head, downstream, while SABIC was represented by Uwaidh Alharethi, executive vice president, chemicals. The signing were witnessed by Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser and SABIC CEO Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan.
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Top executives of Saudi Aramco and SABIC at the event.
Updated 28 June 2016
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SABIC and Saudi Aramco agree to study oil-to-chemicals project

DHAHRAN: Saudi Aramco and Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) have signed a heads of agreement to conduct a feasibility study on the development of a fully integrated crude oil-to-chemicals complex to be located in Saudi Arabia.

The heads of agreement contains key principles of cooperation that will form the basis for the companies to establish a joint venture, if the joint study reaches a positive conclusion.
Derived from improved refining technology, the crude oil-to-chemicals process will involve innovative configurations with proven conversion technologies.
This will create a fully integrated petrochemical complex which maximizes chemical yield, transforms and recycles by-products, drives efficiencies of scale and resource optimization and diversifies the petrochemical feedstock mix in the Kingdom.
Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin H. Nasser said: “Our agreement with SABIC reflects our vision to build on Saudi Arabia’s global leadership in crude oil production and commodities export by substantially increasing the production of oil-based petrochemicals and further optimizing value across the entire hydrocarbons chain.”
He said the agreement “will help spur a new era of industrial diversification, job creation and technology development in Saudi Arabia, particularly through downstream conversion of specialty chemicals by small and medium sized enterprises.”
SABIC vice chairman and CEO, Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan said: “By working together to deliver Chemistry that Matters, SABIC and Saudi Aramco can drive advances that will diversify the Kingdom’s feedstock mix and make oil a viable petrochemical feedstock.”
He added: “We are hopeful that our agreement to conduct a joint feasibility study on the development of an integrated crude oil-to-chemicals complex in Saudi Arabia will ultimately lead to a new era for the Kingdom, driving strong economic growth, creating many new opportunities for aspiring young Saudis, and playing a significant role in the Kingdom’s economic transformation.”
Consistent with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals, this project will provide new opportunities toward creating a  world leading downstream sector in Saudi Arabia, built on four key drivers: maximizing value from the Kingdom’s crude oil production via vertical and horizontal integration across the hydrocarbon chain; enabling the creation of conversion industries that produce semi-finished and finished goods to help diversify the economy; developing advanced technologies and innovation; and, enabling the Kingdom’s sustainable development in alignment with the Kingdom’s National Transformation Program.


Gulf defense spending ‘to top $110bn by 2023’

Updated 15 February 2019
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Gulf defense spending ‘to top $110bn by 2023’

  • Saudi Arabia and UAE initiatives ‘driving forward industrial defense capabilities’
  • Budgets are increasing as countries pursue modernization of equipment and expansion of their current capabilities

LONDON: Defense spending by Gulf Arab states is expected to rise to more than $110 billion by 2023, driven partly by localized military initiatives by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, a report has found.

Budgets are increasing as countries pursue the modernization of equipment and expansion of their current capabilities, according to a report by analytics firm Jane’s by IHS Markit.

Military expenditure in the Gulf will increase from $82.33 billion in 2013 to an estimated $103.01 billion in 2019, and is forecast to continue trending upward to $110.86 billion in 2023.

“Falling energy revenues between 2014 and 2016 led to some major procurement projects being delayed as governments reigned in budget deficits,” said Charles Forrester, senior defense industry analyst at Jane’s.

“However, defense was generally protected from the worst of the spending cuts due to regional security concerns and budgets are now growing again.”

Major deals in the region have included Eurofighter Typhoon purchases by countries including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Saudi Arabia is also looking to “localize” 50 percent of total government military spending in the Kingdom by 2030, and in 2017 announced the launch of the state-owned military industrial company Saudi Arabia Military Industries.

Forrester said such moves will boost the ability for Gulf countries to start exporting, rather than purely importing defense equipment.

“Within the defense sector, the establishment of Saudi Arabia Military Industries (SAMI) in 2017 and consolidation of the UAE’s defense industrial base through the creation of Emirates Defense Industries Company (EDIC) in 2014 have helped consolidate and drive forward industrial defense capabilities,” he said.

“This has happened as the countries focus on improving the quality of the defense technological work packages they undertake through offset, as well as increasing their ability to begin exporting defense equipment.”

Regional countries are also considering the use of “disruptive technologies” such as artificial intelligence in defense, Forrester said.

Meanwhile, it emerged on Friday that worldwide outlays on weapons and defense rose 1.8 percent to more than $1.67 trillion in 2018.

The US was responsible for almost half that increase, according to “The Military Balance” report released at the Munich Security Conference and quoted by Reuters.

Western powers were concerned about Russia’s upgrades of air bases and air defense systems in Crimea, the report said, but added that “China perhaps represents even more of a challenge, as it introduces yet more advanced military systems and is engaged in a strategy to improve its forces’ ability to operate at distance from the homeland.”