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Aramco signs billion-dollar MoUs for petrochem exploration in US

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Motiva, owner of the largest refinery in America and a Saudi Aramco subsidiary, has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with TechnipFMC and Honeywell UOP to explore petrochemical production in the US. The agreements are worth $8 billion (€6.4 billion) to $10 billion (€8 billion) in investment.

The MoUs allow Motiva to evaluate TechnipFMC’s world scale mixed-feed ethylene production technologies for use in the US. They also allow the company to study Honeywell UOP’s world scale aromatics extraction and production technologies for benzene and paraxylene, with scope for an aromatics complex to be built on the US Gulf Coast.

CEO of Motiva Brian Coffman said in a statement: “These agreements signal our plans for expansion into petrochemicals”.

Final investment decisions on the projects are expected no sooner than 2019 and are “dependent on strong economics, competitive incentives, and regulatory support”.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman witnessed the signing of the agreement with Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry reported Reuters.

The wire service also said that Motiva is evaluating the possibility of increasing the Port Arthur refinery’s capacity from 603,000 barrels-per-day to between 1 million or 1.5 million b/d, making it the largest in the world.