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Sadara Chemical Company's facility in Jubail, Saudi Arabia
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Aramco’s domestic petchems path remains bumpy

The firm still faces challenges balancing economics with politics

Ethane scarcity, which forced the domestic Saudi petrochemicals industry to increasingly switch to naphtha feedstock, was a key factor in upstream heavyweight Saudi Aramco beginning to take the lead in the expansion of local petchems production in the second half of last decade. The completion of the 3mn t/yr Sadara Chemical Company plant, in partnership with the US’ Dow Chemicals, at Jubail in 2017 cemented Aramco’s pivotal role. But, just as with its international plans, the expansion process at home has not been entirely smooth. Aramco and its merger partner Sabic formally cancelled a first-ever crude-to-chemicals plant—a putative landmark deliberately symbolic of the desire to convert

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