PARIS – Saudi Arabian Oil Company -Aramco and TotalEnergies –TTE will join forces in the building of a new petrochemicals complex in Saudi – the French energy group announced on Thursday.
The project involves an investment of about $11b, of which $4b will be funded through equity by Aramco (62.5%) and TotalEnergies (37.5%), the statement said.
The investment decision is subject to closing conditions and approvals, with construction scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2023 and commercial operation targeted for 2027.
The planned Amiral complex, integrated with the existing Saudi Arabia Total Refining and Petrochemical (SATORP) refinery located in Jubail on Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast, will be owned and operated by Aramco and TotalEnergies.
The overall complex, including adjacent facilities, is expected to create 7,000 jobs.
The petrochemicals facility will enable SATORP to convert its refinery off-gases and naphtha, as well as ethane and natural gasoline supplied by Aramco, into higher-value chemicals.
The complex will eventually provide feedstock to other petrochemicals and specialty chemical plants in the Jubail industrial area, requiring an estimated $4b of additional investment.
It will also comprise a mixed feed cracker capable of producing 1.65 million tons per annum of ethylene, the first in the region to be integrated with a refinery. The same will also include two state-of-the-art polyethylene units using Advanced Dual Loop technology.
Its construction is scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2023 with commercial operation targeted to start in 2027.
Uganda is one of the countries that are planning to construct a refinery to process part of the crude oil to be extracted from the Tilenga and Kingfisher projects.
There have been fears that with the energy transition debate, the planned refinery could turn into a stranded asset. Technology similar to what will be applied by Saudi Aramco in the SATORP refinery could reignite debate in Uganda on whether to invest $4b for the Kabaale refinery.
The Petroleum Authority of Uganda -PAU has invested $3m in a tier three data centre that will secure real time information from oil fields as drilling starts next month.
The centre will offer support in securing and storage of vast quantities of data expected from drilling activities from more than 450 development oil wells in the Kingfisher and Tilenga development projects and from the refinery and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline projects.
Ernest Rubondo –the PAU CEO, said the centre situated in Entebbe, Wakiso district forms part of the broader National Petroleum Data Repository Infrastructure. Rubondo also noted that government will invest in a Real-Time Monitoring Centre, a disaster recovery facility, and a seismic data transcription facility at a cost of Ugx133b. The monitoring centre will enable the PAU to receive data and information from drilling, production, and crude oil transportation operations in the country and abroad.
“The design of the monitoring centre has been completed, and its development is expected to commence, soon” said Rubondo, adding that the design of a disaster recovery solution is planned to be concluded next year.