Dhahran-headquartered oil company, Saudi Aramco, will develop a petrochemicals complex in Jubail, following an agreement with French oil giant, Total.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed by both companies for the project, which will represent an investment of $5bn (SAR18.75bn). 

Front-end engineering and design (FEED) work is due to commence in Q3 2018. 

The complex will be an integrated, downstream part of the SATORP refinery, which is a joint venture between Aramco (62.5%) and Total (37.5%). 

Located next to the refinery, the complex will comprise a mixed-feed steam cracker, with a capacity of 1.36 million tonnes (1.5 million tons) per year of ethylene and related petrochemical units. 

The cracker will feed other petrochemical and specialty chemical plants, thus representing an additional $4bn (SAR15bn) worth of investment by third-party investors. 

In addition to the $9bn (SAR33.75bn) invested in total, up to 8,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created through the complex, which is expected to produce 2.45 million tonnes (2.7 million tons) of chemicals. 

Aramco and Total's MoU was signed during a visit to Paris by HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Vice President of the Council of Ministers, and Minister of Defense, Saudi's state news agency, SPA, reported.