The General Investment Fund (GIF) has granted a loan of SR 3.75 billion [$1 billion] to the petrochemical and refining project at Rabigh, which is a joint project of Saudi Aramco and the Sumitomo Chemicals of Japan. Local and international banks are also providing loans, including the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
The project, one of the largest private investments in the Kingdom, is Aramco’s first foray into the domestic petrochemical sector, and is expected to be completed in July 2009. The facility is expected to produce an annual one million tons of ethylene, a basic ingredient for petrochemical products. The ethylene will be processed from ethane extracted from natural gas. The plant would also produce such plastics as polyethylene, used in packaging.