Saudi oil minister, Ali al-Naimi has said the kingdom plans to build a plant able to turn crude directly into chemicals, without first having to refine the oil, Reuters has reported. The proposed is to be build at Yanbu, in conjunction with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), one of the world’s largest chemicals companies. “An innovative technology is being studied by the ministry, in collaboration with SABIC, to set up an integrated industrial complex for the production of petrochemicals from crude oil without the need to build a conventional oil refinery,” Naimi told a conference in the Red Sea coastal port of Yanbu. The world’s first plant that processes crude oil into chemicals was started up by ExxonMobil in Singapore last year.
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