Total, Saudi Aramco sign MoU to build $9bn petrochemical complex

Saudi Aramco takes next step in petrochemicals expansion at US top refinery

Saudi Aramco takes next step in petrochemicals expansion at US top refinery

Khalid Al-Falih, minister of energy, industry and mineral resources in Saudi Arabia, said that an worldwide oil company has expressed interest in being part of the project but did not specify which in a media briefing.

The project at Ratnagiri in the state of Maharashtra is estimated to cost around $44bn, Saudi Aramco said in a statement.

Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan, said that this a joint partnership between the consortium from India consisting of IOCL, HPCL and BPCL and Saudi Aramco and an additional strategic partner on a 50:50 basis.

The proposed refinery will be capable of processing 1.2m barrels of crude oil per day and provide feedstock for the integrated petrochemical complex, which will have about 18m tonnes/year in capacity.

Aramco may introduce at a later stage a strategic partner to share its 50 percent stake, Falih said.

RRPCL will rank among the world's largest refining & petrochemicals projects and will be created to meet India's fast-growing fuels and petrochemicals demand, the ministry said in its release.

A new petrochemical complex will be built at Jubail, Saudi Arabia following an agreement that Saudi Aramco signed with French energy firm Total.

"The projects will have risks, the markets will have risk, but India has no risk and have told the Aramco team to assign zero political and regulatory risk to India and treat it as part of Saudi Arabia", he told reporters. Falih said state-owned Saudi Aramco can bring in another strategic partner as an global company has already shown interest in having a partnership with the company on the project.

Refiners see petrochemicals as a new market as demand for motor fuels is expected to plateau later in the century, said Sandeep Sayal, vice president, downstream energy research at IHS Markit.

Aramco's Chief Executive Amin Nasser signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) worth $8 billion-$10 billion with Honeywell UOP and Technip FMC to study petrochemical production technology for use in a chemical plant the company is considering building at the Port Arthur refinery.

India, which imports about 80% of its crude requirements, has been diversifying its sources of oil supply and is seeking more favorable terms from producers in the Middle East.

A number of cooperation arrangements and prospective commercial collaborations were signed and discussed between Saudi partners and French counterparts during the forum.

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