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BP's Innovene agrees $2 billion Saudi investment

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 6/8/2005, Location: Middle East

Oil major BP's Innovene petrochemicals unit has signed a preliminary deal to build a $2 billion plastics manufacturing unit in Saudi Arabia, in a further move to orient the firm more toward fast-growing Asian markets. BP said Innovene had signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi-owned Delta International to build a "cracker" unit, which will convert natural gas into ethylene, the raw material for plastic wrappings and containers.

The cracker, which is expected to start production in late 2008, will produce around 1.2 million tonnes of ethylene per annum and Delta added in a statement that the long-term goal was to build two crackers at a cost of around $2 billion each.

"The memorandum marks the beginning of detailed negotiations between Innovene and Delta for the construction of a world-scale cracker and associated derivative capacity in the (Saudi) kingdom, with sites being explored in Jubail," BP said in a statement.

Innovene and Delta will contribute equal amounts to the project but the partners will also now seek to attract funding from third parties as well to meet the cost of the project.

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