The FEED work is expected to take nearly a year, allowing the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to be tendered by the end of 2003. The company is also working to secure feedstock supplies from Saudi Aramco.

The main element of the project is a styrene plant with capacity of 715,000 tonnes a year (t/y). The proposals also include a 250,000-t/y propylene plant and a 405,000-t/y motor gasoline plant. SCP already produces 550,000 t/y of benzene, 220,000 t/y of cyclohexane and 370,000 t/y of motor gasoline.

The new project has secured financial support from the government. In September, the Public Investment Fund announced it would provide SR 1,230 million ($328 million), a figure that is expected to rise to about SR 1,874 million ($500 million) through a Saudi Industrial Development Fund loan.

JCP has the same ownership structure as SCP. Both are joint ventures between Chevron Phillips Chemical Companyand the Saudi Industrial Investment Group, a collection of local investors.