Sabic: driving growth

Sabic: driving growth

Cities continue to flourish

Jubail and Yanbu are playing a critical role in Saudi industrial development but their impact is being felt globally, particularly in petrochemicals

October 2018

Recent significant developments in the Saudi cities of Jubail and Yanbu, operated under the Royal Commission of Jubail and Yanbu (RCJY) charter, solidify their role as a premier channel of the kingdom’s economic and industrial development.

The industrial powerhouses are seeing scorching development attracting an investment of more than $267 billion, with 630 industrial projects manufacturing close to 100 basic products. RCJY industrial cities of Jubail, Yanbu and Ras Al-Khair are continuing to expand aggressively. Jazan Economic City, recently added under the RCJY fold, is the latest jewel in its crown.

The cities’ combined output of petrochemical and refining products, among other items, feed the needs of local industries, leaving large volumes for export. They are responsible for more than 71 per cent of total Saudi exports, while the non-oil  exports of the commission cities  amount to 85 per cent of  all kingdom exports in that category.

It is estimated that the Royal Commission accounts for 65 per cent of industrial investment in the entire Gulf region and has a 20.2 per cent average annual growth rate in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI),

The commission also contributes around 12 per cent to the kingdom’s GDP and to 65 per cent of the domestic industrial output. Jubail and Ras Al Khair currently employ an estimated 140,000 people, which is predicted to rise to 190,000 by 2021. RCJY has also launched an initiative to adopt renewable energy in Yanbu Industrial City, as part of the National Transformation Program 2020.


Abdurahman Al Fadli, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, who is also chairman of the board of Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), recently announced that two desalination plants, costing a total of SR4 billion ($1.08 billion), will be established in the cities of Al-Khobar and Jubail.

The projects, that are expected to go on stream by the middle of 2021, will be implemented by taking advantage of highly advanced technologies and are expected to go on stream by the middle of 2021.

“The plants will contribute to pumping of more than one million additional cubic meters of water daily to various cities in the Eastern Province. The projects will be implemented by taking advantage of highly advanced technologies and world-class standards so as to improve the efficiency of production and bringing down operational costs,” he said.

The desalination projects are expected to go on stream by the middle of 2021.


Projects of the Sadara petrochemical complex in Jubail, a $20 billion joint initiative between Saudi Aramco and The Dow Chemical Company, continue to expand and grow while several vital projects have also been completed in making it a premier industrial hub.

In the run up to the expansion of the Sadara complex, Sadara recently signed contracts with Amec Foster Wheeler, a leading engineering and project management company, for the construction of two gas pipelines at the PlasChem park, located in the Jubail Industrial City II.

PlasChem Park, a collaborative effort between Sadara and the RCJY, is a 12-sq-km industrial facility dedicated to downstream chemical and conversion industries. It is a key element differentiating Sadara from other petrochemical, chemical and plastics manufacturing projects in Saudi Arabia.

As per the deal, Amec Foster Wheeler will design two 7-km special material pipelines carrying ethylene oxide (EO) and propylene oxide (PO), used in making detergents and plastics, from Sadara’s plants to the PlasChem industrial park.

The EO/PO pipeline transportation system will be the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.

Sadara’s PlasChem Park is uniquely positioned to enable and support downstream opportunities in many market segments, including the Hydrocarbon Resin Cluster, Ethylene Oxide/Propylene Oxide (EO/PO) Cluster, Polyurethane Cluster and a Plastics Cluster.

These clusters are designed to attract diversified investments into PlasChem Park for downstream applications such as the production of oil and gas chemicals, construction materials, auto components, animal feed, paints and coatings, as well as home and personal care products.

Sadara CEO Faisal Al Faqeer said: “We will be building a transport system for EO/PO that is second to none in the entire Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region. This is a major milestone for the development of one of the most attractive clusters in PlasChem Park.”

“This transportation system will be commissioned just in time for the first wave of our EO/PO cluster investors and will provide a great incentive for them to locate to PlasChem Park,” he added.

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