Bid & Tender


SAGIA to Invest $2bn in Saudi Petrochemicals Sector

Over 80 representatives of more than 13 government and private sector entities from Saudi Arabia and across the globe convened to sign more than $2 billion in new petrochemical investments.


Ibrahim Al-Omar, governor of SAGIA, commented: “Our country is undergoing a significant economic transformation. The petrochemicals sector provides exciting opportunities for international investors as we look to draw on the expertise and experience of the private sector in transforming the industry.


“This meeting — and the MoUs that have been exchanged — reflect our increasing focus on promoting opportunities and facilitating international partnerships to drive the growth of this strategic sector. We are very pleased to welcome these industry giants to Saudi Arabia as we build the future of the petrochemicals sector in the Kingdom.”


Memoranda of Understanding signed and exchanged at the meeting include:


• SAGIA & BASF – A deal aimed at evaluating and assessing opportunities in Saudi Arabia.


• SAGIA & SNF – A deal aimed at evaluating the establishment of a polyacrylamide plant with a capacity of 50,000 tons per annum in Jubail, providing 80 new employment opportunities.


• SAGIA & Mitsui & Co. – A deal aimed at establishing an ammonia commercial production project in Jubail with an estimated capacity of 1 million tons per annum, using a highly-efficient and environmentally-friendly manufacturing process. In addition, SAGIA and Mitsui & Co. have agreed to work together to develop a specialty chemicals downstream opportunity.


• SAGIA & Shell – A deal aimed at evaluating building a state-of-the-art residue upgrading catalyst manufacturing facility in Jubail Industrial City, subject to regulatory approvals.


• AMG & Shell – A deal aimed at assessing the feasibility of building a facility to reclaim valuable metals by recycling spent residue upgrading catalysts generated by refineries in Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region. The proposed facility would help maximize the benefits from the Kingdom’s natural resources while addressing the need to provide environmentally responsible management of spent residue upgrading catalysts.


Pascal Remy, CEO of SNF, commented: “As part of its global strategy, SNF is investigating the prospects of an implantation in the Jubail industrial complex. On a medium term, this strategic location will host the production of some critical raw material in the synthesis of polyacrylamide, such as acrylonitrile according to the recent announcement of Ineos, and will also bring SNF closer to the growing market of shale gas in Saudi Arabia.”


Tatsuo Yasunaga, president and CEO of Mitsui & Co., said: “Mitsui aims to realize an ammonia production project in Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, using a highly efficient and environment-friendly manufacturing technology and concept, which may include Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).”


Andy Gosse, president of Shell Catalysts & Technologies, commented: “This agreement with SAGIA and AMG reflects Shell’s interest in growing its presence in Saudi Arabia and serving its clients locally and regionally through a world class end-to-end business solution utilizing our extensive expertise in catalyst technologies.


“New global fuel regulations, combined with the growing trend of crude oil to chemicals production, are leading refiners to develop sustainable waste management plans for their spent catalyst. We look to have meaningful opportunities to build strong relationships with local and international participants.”


Heinz Schimmelbusch, chairman and CEO of AMG, stated: “AMG is excited to provide cutting edge recycling technologies for treating refinery waste in Saudi Arabia. The recycling process allows the extraction of metals like vanadium from spent catalysts providing ferro-vanadium alloys for the domestic production of high strength steel.


“Through the reclamation of ferro-vanadium from spent catalysts, steel manufacturers benefit from a low CO2 alternative compared to sourcing the vanadium through mining. It is also the basis for building stationary vanadium batteries used for grid stabilization in view of the growing renewable energy sector in Saudi Arabia. All of that is in line with AMG’s vision to enable CO2 reduction through its technologies and products.”


These investments build on the positive momentum that Saudi Arabia has seen this year in terms of inward investment. According to Invest Saudi’s Fall 2019 Investment Highlights report, over 250 overseas businesses were granted investor licenses Q3 2019. This marks a 30 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.


In fact, 809 new foreign companies have established operations in Saudi Arabia, 67 percent of which are for fully foreign ownership investments. This represents the highest number of foreign investor licenses issued by SAGIA since 2010.


These investments come alongside a broad series of economic reforms, which are enabling rapid growth in foreign investment in Saudi Arabia. These reforms have had a significant impact.


According to the 2019 Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum, Saudi Arabia has moved up three positions to the 36th place, globally, through its efforts to diversify the Kingdom’s economy.


Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia also climbed 30 places in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report, rising to 62nd place and becoming the most improved economy globally.


According to the report, Saudi Arabia’s rise in the index was driven by key reforms including lifting foreign ownership restrictions in a range of new sectors, while adopting faster and less complicated business registration procedures by introducing a one-stop shop for business registration.


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