Saudi and Russia Sign Methanol/Fertilizer Projects

Russia’s sovereign wealth fund Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is investing in projects with SABIC and Saudi Arabian Minding Company (Ma’aden). The organization made the announcement during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Saudi Arabia on Oct. 14.

RDIF, SABIC and ESN Group have agreed to invest in building and operating a methanol plant in the Amur Region in Russia’s Far East. The plant’s installed capacity will be 2 million t/y, although initially it will produce 1 million t/y. The proposed project is part of the Advanced Special Economic Zone, under which the government will provide incentives to investors.

SABIC said the deal is an important milestone in its global growth strategy. “Russia is important to our global expansion plans, which have been formulated around competitive feedstock and our capacity to innovate and plan strategically,” commented Youself Al-Benyan, SABIC’S vice chairman and CEO, adding: “We plan to maintain our strategic partnership with the Russian market by continuing to focus on meeting customer needs, increasing our key customer base, and growing our commercial operation, in addition to enhancing our presence in the Russian market and maintain our leading position as a key methanol supplier.”

CEO Kirill Dmitriev said RDIF is consistently building up investment partnership with companies from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and this plant will boost local tax revenues and help create additional jobs.

In October 2017, RDIF also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Saudi Aramco to explore opportunities for cooperation and investment in both Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical markets.

The fund is also partnering with PhosAgro and Ma’aden to develop and jointly implement projects in Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The partners have agreed to exchange ideas and expertise, production methods and processes to increase efficiency and reduce environmental impact from fertilizer use, as well as consider the possibility of implementing joint investment projects.

“Each party to the agreement has unique expertise in various fields that will help to mutually enrich them.

We plan to particularly focus on the development of green technologies, which will make production more eco-friendly and direct additional resources to new promising projects,” Dmitriev said.

PhosAgro’s CEO, Andrey Duryev, added that, with the support of RDIF, the agreement will “lay a solid foundation for cooperation between the two leading global manufacturers of eco-friendly phosphorus fertilizers for the benefit of food security and the well-being of future generations.”

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