SABIC has been a driving force in the industrialization of Saudi Arabia since 1976 when it was established by royal decree. Before then, natural gas was flared off at the wellhead but the creation of the company meant that such gas was captured for the first time and converted into ethylene - a building block chemical from which many different kinds of plastic are derived.
It has also been a key part of Saudization efforts dating back to the 1970s with many of its early executives studying chemical engineering in the US before returning to the Kingdom.
Saudi Aramco and SABIC struck an initial agreement to develop a $20 billion industrial complex that will bring 30,000 jobs to the Kingdom.
The pair signed a memorandum of understanding on Sunday for what would be the world’s biggest crude-to-chemicals plant.
It represents the latest move by the country to diversify its industrial base by moving away from crude oil sales towards developing higher value exporting industries.
It also joins the country’s two industrial titans into a partnership that aims to develop pioneering technology.
The MoU follows the signing of heads of agreement in June 2016 between the two companies for a feasibility study for the complex.
Aramco and SABIC expect the project to create an estimated 30,000 direct and indirect jobs and make a 1.5 percent contribution to Saudi GDP by 2030.
Investment will shared equally by both companies.
Source : Saudi Aramco, SABIC & Arabnews.