Saudi Aramco and the US’ Dow Chemical Company have begun approaching export credit agencies (ECAs) for financing the pair’s $15bn Jubail petrochemicals project, now known as Sadara Chemical Company.

Sources close to the process confirm that ECAs have been sent an information package on the project requesting both direct loans, and loan insurance. Follow-up meetings with ECAs are due to occur over the next few months ahead of commercial banks being approached by early 2012.

The project, previously planned for Ras Tanura, is expected to be one of the region’s largest project finance deals in 2012.