EP ‘energy city’ to add $9bn to GDP annually

EP ‘energy city’ to add $9bn to GDP annually
Updated 06 December 2014

EP ‘energy city’ to add $9bn to GDP annually

EP ‘energy city’ to add $9bn to GDP annually

Saudi Aramco plans to establish a mega energy city in the Eastern Province that would contribute about SR33.75 billion ($9 billion) annually to the country’s gross domestic product, a top official has revealed.
“The project is aimed at achieving integrated development of oil and gas, petrochemicals, electricity and desalination of seawater,” said Mohammed Al-Qahtani, vice president for planning. Addressing a conference in Skhirat, Morocco, organized by the Arab Thought Foundation, Al-Qahtani said the project would also create more than 300,000 direct and indirect jobs.
In his keynote speech, Al-Qahtani highlighted the Saudi oil giant’s efforts to develop the country’s human and material resources to achieve integrated growth and make the Kingdom more competitive.
“Three years ago, Saudi Aramco took a strategic decision to strengthen the Kingdom’s position in oil production and refining by investing heavily in the sector and achieving integration with petrochemical, industrial and service sectors,” the vice president said.
He said Saudi Aramco has established alliances with major national companies to invest in education and training projects. “We have increased our investment in this sector five times compared with what we were doing three years ago.”
Speaking about investments in petrochemicals and downstream industries, Al-Qahtani said: “We are involved in several joint ventures such as Sadara in Jubail with Dow Chemical, which is one of the biggest projects with a total investment of $20 billion (SR75 billion).”
He also referred to Aramco’s support for Saudi Arabia Advanced Research Alliance (SAARA), which was launched on Wednesday to drive the commercialization and application of innovative research and development activities in the Kingdom.
SAARA is a new partner-based collaboration between six organizations that span Saudi Arabia’s public and private sectors. SAARA will provide a focal point within Saudi Arabia to bring industry and academia together to find ways to translate technology and intellectual property into commercially available products and applications.
Its six partners are Saudi Aramco, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Taqnia, the technology arm of the Saudi Public Investment Fund and RTI International, one of the world’s leading research institutes dedicated to improving the human condition by turning knowledge into practice.