Petrochemical products are expected to reach 115 million tons in the Kingdom by the end of 2016, King Abdulaziz City For Science and Technology (KACST) President Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed Al-Saud said at the opening of the 6th KACST-Oxford Petrochemical Forum in Riyadh, on Tuesday.
Addressing the forum delegates, Prince Turki stated that the interest of the KACST in the transfer, resettlement and development of technologies related to petrochemicals had resulted in the remarkable growth in the production of such materials.
According to reports, he said the production of petrochemical products amounted to 79 million tons in 2013.
The inauguration of the forum held at KACST headquarters was attended by Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi, and a group of experts and specialists in the field of petrochemicals as well.
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation’s (SABIC) petrochemical products recorded an increase from 35 million tons in 2001 to 70 million tons by the end of 2014.
The president said the SADARA company at the Saudi Aramco is expected to produce three million tons of chemicals and polymers.
There are 26 industrialized petrochemical projects under construction at a cost of $15 billion while another 42 projects have been planned over the next five years at an estimated cost of $46 billion for the production of 120 new petrochemical products.
The forum’s Scientific Committee Chairman Hamid Al-Miqrin said the KACST has partnerships with universities, and local and international research centers in the field of petrochemicals.
The petrochemicals sector offers one of the most promising long-term routes toward economic diversification in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom has huge reserves of oil and natural gas, which give it a substantial cost advantage over global competitors.
KACST and the University of Oxford have established a joint research center called KACST-Oxford Petrochemicals Research Centre (KOPRC). One of the strategic goals of the program is to support and develop domestic capacity in critical petrochemicals and refining technologies.
This joint scientific cooperation between KACST and the University of Oxford is described as the first of its type in the Arab world in the petrochemicals field and comes within the strategic plan set by KACST, with the aim of transferring and localizing petrochemicals technology in the Kingdom.