Aramco CEO says $19.3bn Sadara plant 70% complete

Huge petchem complex's progress jumped from 30% to 70% in 12 months

The CEOs involved in building the Sadara complex on stage at the recent summit.
The CEOs involved in building the Sadara complex on stage at the recent summit.

Saudi Aramco's president and CEO Khalid A. Al Falih has said that the $19bn petrochemicals complex being built alongside US-based Dow Chemicals is now more than 70% complete.

Speaking at a Sadara CEO summit that also included Dow Chemicals CEO Andrew Liveris and bosses of the firms building the project in Jubail recently, Al Falih described Sadara as "probably the planet’s most complex engineering undertaking — not just now, but at any time”.

He added: “Whether it’s scale, complexity, advanced technology or economic and commercial impact, it is in a league of its own.”

The project was initially launched in September 2011, with the bulk of the funding being agreed over the past 18 months.

Al-Falih said that the project has come a long way within the past 12 months as one year ago it was just 30% complete.

“The next 30% is what people will remember: how we finish, when we finish, and what the result is of the facilities we finish.”

The summit was attended by more than 40 CEOs of engineering and construction companies involved in building Sadara, and Al Falih urged those involved with the plant to work together to make sure it is delivered in "the best, most effective and safest manner possible".

Work started on the Sadara complex in November 2011 and the plant is due to become operational next year. It is a key part of the development of Jubail Industrial City, and will be capable of producing 3mn tons of chemical products a year.

The plant is expected to create thousands of jobs for Saudis as well as supplying products that will allow for local firms to be set up to create a range of businesses using these that can make everything from paints and sealants to auto parts and toothpaste.

Sadara is 65% owned by Saudi Aramo and 35% by Dow Chemicals.

Once complete, it will have used more than 160,000 tonnes of steel and over 1mn ft3 of concrete. It will also have used over 2,500km of pipelines.

“We are right now rounding the corner and entering the home stretch, and while our objective is closer than it was, our steps forward are even more critical, requiring greater determination and a higher level of cooperation among all our partners,” Al-Falih said. “If we can achieve that, we will establish an industrial landmark that will contribute to prosperity for generations to come.”

Liveris said that it already had commitment from customers to take up 100% of the plant's planned capacity.

“Our industry is watching as we construct the most incredible industrial complex of our time,” he said. “Once in a career, once in a lifetime, you have the opportunity to do something truly special,” Liveris said. “I will always remember that I was involved in this special something — that we, together, built Sadara into a force for human progress.”

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