In a massive boost to British businesses, the UK’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), has announced that it will guarantee $700 million (£450 million) of finance to British companies bidding for contracts on a new $19 billion (£12 billion) petrochemical facility in Saudi Arabia.
This unprecedented finance support package will enable UK exporters to bid for key contracts for the Sadara Project, the largest petrochemical facility ever built in a single phase.
Backed by the UK Government, the support UKEF is providing is the biggest project financing facility in the agency’s history, and forms part of a large package of credit provided by a host of export credit agencies from around the world. This support will allow British firms to increase their presence in Saudi Arabia.
Three British companies working in engineering, procurement and construction – Jacobs, Fluor and Foster Wheeler – have already secured contracts which will benefit from financing under the facility.
Exporting is one of the Government’s priorities for returning the economy to strong and sustainable growth, and it has set an ambitious target of doubling the value of UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020.
The Sadara project is co-sponsored by Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical Company. Once complete, the complex, which will include 26 manufacturing units, a mixed-feed steam cracker and an aromatics plant, will represent the largest petrochemical facility ever built in a single phase.
The project, in Jubail Industrial City II in eastern Saudi Arabia, will produce performance and value-added chemicals, as well as plastics for use in the energy, transportation, construction, electrical, and electronics sectors.