Saudi Arabia’s state owned SABIC announced on 23rd October that it would be investing Saudi Riyal 1.6 billions to establish two silicone plants. These plants shall be situated in the Jubail Industrial City in the eastern side of Saudi Kingdom.
The company has signed MoUs with German technology firm SCHMID and RIWAQ for development of plants. The official statement stated that this investment would reinstate the intended push for diversification of economy from oil and attracting foreign investment. The downstream areas of silicone include semiconductors, electronic products, batteries, and solar cells.
The official statements from the company emphasized on the strategy of the company is aligned with the national direction of moving towards downstream industries and away from heavy oil production reliance. Further, the company also stated its aim of localizing the technical know-how, industrial knowledge, and production capabilities needed for downstream industries in association with the global players.
The investment declaration came in the backdrop of Saudi investment summit held to attract foreign investment in the Kingdom. After October 2 incident of Jamal Khashoggi’s killing, the environment around the summit deteriorate for the summit as the killing gained political attention from all over the world. Many political attendees opted out in the following weeks and few investors had doubts over success of investment summit. However, the summit resulted in multi-billion dollars investments and agreements in the country. Saudi Aramco also announced to have signed 15 agreements worth $34 billion in the summit with partners such as Halliburton, Hyundai, and Total.
– Ankur Kalra,