Saudi Aramco announced it was planning to invest $7 billion in South Korea to develop one of the world's largest refinery-integrated petrochemical steam crackers, which will be established in Ulsan city.
The "Shaheen" project is Aramco's most significant investment in South Korea to develop one of the largest steam crackers to maximize the crude to the chemicals value chain.
Aramco is the majority shareholder of S-OIL, holding more than 63 percent of its shares through its Aramco Overseas Company BV subsidiary. The project is expected to start in 2023 and be completed by 2026.
The new plant is planned to have the capacity to produce up to 3.2 million tons of petrochemicals annually and include a facility to produce high-value polymers.
The steam cracker is expected to process by-products from crude processing, including naphtha and off-gas, to produce ethylene, a building block petrochemical used to make thousands of everyday items.
The plant is also expected to produce propylene, butadiene, and other essential chemicals.
Aramco stated that upon project completion, S-OIL chemical yield based on volume could almost double to 25 percent, demonstrating this cutting-edge technology's impact.
Aramco CEO Amin Nasser announced that the global petrochemical landscape is "rapidly evolving with demand growth anticipated to accelerate, driven in part by rising consumption from Asia's emerging economies."
According to Nasser, Shaheen is well-positioned to meet the rising demand for the materials that will be required across the region's key industries.