Plans began in 2007 for the $20bn Sadara petrochemicals complex in Jubail, in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.

The first units began production in 2016, and the complex is expected to be fully operational this year.  

The Sadara complex is designed to produce more than 3 million tonnes a year (t/y) of chemicals and performance plastics, including polyurethanes, propylene oxide, propylene glycol, elastomers, polyethylene, glycol ethers and amines.

The government wants Sadara to contribute to the further economic diversification of the kingdom. To this end, companies are being encouraged to set up in a nearby ‘value park’ to utilise feedstock from the complex.

Major contracts on the scheme included the $1.65bn utilities and offsites package, awarded in 2011 to the US’ KBR, and the $1bn contract for the mixed-feed cracker awarded to South Korea’s Daelim. The cracker has a capacity of 1.2 million t/y of ethylene and 400,000 t/y of propylene.

Other major contracts included the $900m, 1.3 million-t/y polyethylene unit, built by the US’ Jacobs Engineering and India’s Larsen & Toubro, and a $600m ethylene oxide unit built by Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas.