Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Aramco is in talks with Sibur Holding PJSC, Russia’s largest petrochemical producer, about forming a joint venture in the kingdom. Saudi Aramco and Sibur are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding for the project next month when Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz visits Russia.
This would be the second rubber-producing venture with a foreign firm. In 2015, Aramco announced acquiring a stake of 50 percent in a joint venture to produce rubber with the Dutch company Lanxess.
Aramco and Sibur aspire to expand in the petrochemical field since Aramco is willing to diversify income sources through introducing several projects in the refining and petrochemical fields. Sibur has been expanding in markets outside Russia since 2011 when the company reached an agreement with Sinopec to set up two rubber joint ventures.
Sinopec and Silk Road Fund bought 10 percent each in the Russian company. Aramco is linked with Sinopec in oilfield project in China while the kingdom is holding talks with China to discuss investment opportunities in the Silk Road, supported by China.
In May, the official magazine of Aramco The Arabian Sun revealed that the giant government oil company plans to establish a new unit for chemicals. The weekly magazine added that the board of directors approved to establish a new unit that handles chemical activities of the company.