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Mon 31 Aug 2009 09:50 PM

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Aramco, Dow jv to have 8m tonnes pa. petchem capacity

Saudi petchem project in engineering, design phase; investment decision set for 2010.

State-run Saudi Aramco said on Monday that a planned joint venture with Dow Chemical would have an annual production capacity of 8 million tonnes of petrochemical products.

The giant petrochemical project is still in the engineering and design phase and partners are expected to make an investment decision next year.

If the project goes ahead, it would be the largest single foreign investment in the Saudi energy sector with an estimated cost of over $20 billion.

The complex will include 35 units, Adil al-Tubayyeb, vice president of Ras Tanura Integrated Refining and Petrochemicals said in a statement posted on the company's web site.

"It consists of 35 process units, each of which could be considered a major project, and will produce on the order of 8 million metric tonnes of products annually," al-Tubayyeb said.

The complex will produce ethylene, propylene, and aromatic and chlorine derivatives, Aramco said in a statement in 2006.

The petrochemical plant would start up in 2015, Aramco said in June.

"The Joint-Venture Manufacturing Master Plan could be rolled out in the summer of 2010. If all goes according to present predictions, the organisation and facilities could enter full operations by 2015," the statement added.

Al-Tubayyeb comments were made during a meeting with other executives to review manufacturing strategies and organisational plans for the petrochemical complex.

Aramco has also delayed plans to expand capacity at the Ras Tanura by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd), which will supply feedstock to the petrochemical complex. (Reuters)

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