Saudi Arabia’s Farabi Petrochemicals Company plans to produce a similar mix of chemicals at its proposed new facility at Jizan Economic City (JEC) to the offtake of the plant it operates at Jubail in the Eastern Province.  

MEED reported in late August that Farabi was planning a petrochemicals plant next to the $7bn Jizan refinery in the southwest of the kingdom.

The chemicals mix for the proposed facility will concentrate on about two dozen grades of surfactant allied business chemicals. These will include detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents and dispersants.

“The [proposed chemicals] mix is not a surprise,” says a Saudi-based petrochemicals source. “Farabi has good capabilities [regarding] this type of product, so why change?”

The chemicals firm is now in negotiations with Saudi Aramco to ensure the plant’s feedstock, land and power allocations are secured.  

JEC looks set to be the first mover in Aramco’s plan to integrate its refining operations with large-scale petrochemicals production. Three locations have been identified in a new initiative that some experts believe could result in new petrochemicals facilities worth as much as $70bn. Other locations, apart from JEC, include Ras Tanura and Yanbu.

Aramco is also planning a chemicals facility in Jizan, and is currently carrying out a study to determine the optimum mix for the location and feedstock.