State oil company Saudi Aramco aims to almost triple its chemicals production to 34 million metric tons per year by 2030, a senior company executive said on Monday.
"In chemicals, our equity capacity, across our global operations, is expected to grow from 12 million metric tons per year to 34 million over the same period," Abdulaziz al-Judaimi, the company's business line head for downstream, said in a speech at a conference in Dubai.
Over the same period Aramco's global refining capacity is set to rise to 8-10 million barrels per day (bpd) from more than 5 million bpd currently.
The company's refining capacity has grown as it has invested heavily to raise its oil production capacity to 12 million bpd.
Developing petrochemicals is part of the kingdom's Vision 2030 economic reform plan announced this year which aims to diversify the economy away from oil.
Aramco has been integrating its refineries with petrochemical infrastructure as it develops its downstream business and expands its trading of refined products.
The integration will help it to maximise value from its hydrocarbon base, diversify feedstock and chemical products, which is key to Aramco's plans to diversify its operations.
Aramco this year initiated the Middle East's first mixed-feed cracker at its Sadara Chemical Company, an 80 billion riyals petrochemical joint venture with U.S. company Dow Chemical.
It is also expanding its PetroRabigh facility, Rabigh 2, a joint venture with Japan's Sumitomo Chemical. That facility is integrated with a refinery on the Red Sea coast.
In 2014, former Aramco CEO Khalid al-Falih, who is now chairman of the company and Saudi energy minister, said Sadara and PetroRabigh would take the company's total chemicals participated production capacity to more than 15 million tonnes per year.
"Next year, nine out of Saudi Aramco's 15 refineries will produce chemicals, with conversion rates that can go to 20 percent of the total crude processed," Judaimi said.
The company has also set up ARLANXEO, a joint venture with Germany's Lanxess, which Judaimi said offered growth prospects.