Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) and the US’ ExxonMobil are set launch the financing for the pair’s $3.4bn elastomers project, known as Kemya, at Jubail in the New Year, according to sources in Saudi Arabia.

Banks signed non-disclosure agreements for the deal in July and some preliminary discussions with potential lenders are understood to have taken place since then. In early 2013, the UK’s HSBC, financial adviser on the project, is expected to start formally approaching banks to join a lending group.

Sources close to the project say the financing is expected to heavily rely on export credit agency loans and government funding from the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) and the Public Investment Fund (PIF). A local currency sukuk is also understood to have been under consideration, although it is still unclear if it will be a part of the final funding mix.