The Saudi Net-Zero Petrochemicals & Conversion Industries Investment Forum 2023, organized by the Saudi Ministry of Investment (MISA) in cooperation with the U.S.-Saudi Business Council (USSBC), was held in Houston, Texas on March 15, 2023 for U.S. companies interested in opportunities in the Saudi downstream oil and gas, petrochemicals, and conversion industries.
The Forum was attended by over 180 executives and featured representatives of 12 different Saudi ministries, agencies, and commissions driving Saudi Arabia’s industrial development. Among the participants were prominent companies such as USSBC members Aramco, Bechtel, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Fluor, and Honeywell. The program presented a unique opportunity to learn how U.S. companies can fit into the industry value chain and take advantage of the Saudi industrial transformation to access a wider global market.
Among the Forum’s notable featured speakers was former Energy Secretary and former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who opened the Forum with welcoming remarks highlighting the importance of investment trends in Saudi Arabia and praising the progress made by the country in attracting investments. Additional opening remarks were presented by MISA’s Head of Petrochemicals and Conversion Industries Eng. Waleed S. Al-Rubaie.
The opening session was followed by a number of presentations that shed light on some of the goals of national strategies, ambitions, and investment opportunities in the petrochemical and conversion industries. Among those presentations was “Invest in Saudi Arabia,” presented by the Head of Performance Chemicals at MISA, Eng. Naif Al Khaldi. In his presentation, he discussed Saudi Arabia’s goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2060, the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030, the status of current megaprojects, the importance of the country’s geographical location for investment, and the ease of obtaining necessary licenses for investment, citing recent economic reforms seeking to attract diversified investments.
The Director General of Specialized Petrochemicals at the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIMR), Eng. Saad Al-Sharif, then followed with a presentation discussing the new National Industrial Strategy as well as ambitious investment goals in the conversion industries, which include attracting investments exceeding $240 billion (SAR 900 billion).
The session was concluded with a presentation by the CEO of Investment at NEOM, Dr. Manar Al-Munif, under the theme “NEOM, Land of Future,” which discussed how the scope of existing projects in NEOM such as The Line and OXAGON align with the country’s net-zero goals of developing a carbon-free society. Dr. Manar’s presentation also explained how NEOM’s human-centric development will revolve around walkability, carbon-free public transportation innovations, smart city technologies, and a new model of healthcare focused on preventative care, holistic treatment, biotech innovations, and AI-assisted virtual healthcare solutions.
The Forum then held three panel discussions covering clean investments and the path to net-zero emissions, industrial transformation and demand drivers, and doing business in the Kingdom. Panelists included government officials along with senior executives of companies engaged in the transformation, including Baker Hughes, Dussur, Linde, LyondellBasell, Mitchell Rubber Arabia, PetroRabigh, and SLB (Schlumberger).
At the conclusion of the Forum, attendees had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with representatives of the 12 Saudi government agencies. In addition to MISA, MIMR, and NEOM, the Saudi delegation represented the following ministries and government entities:
- Ministry of Energy
- National Industry Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP)
- Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF)
- Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu (RCJY)
- King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)
- King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST)
- Saudi Export-Import Bank
- Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON)
- National Center for Industrial Development
Saudi Arabia is undergoing a massive transformation country-wide to diversity its economy and achieve national net-zero carbon emissions by 2060. The downstream petrochemical and conversion industries are key drivers to help achieve both national goals, enabled by low feedstock costs, favorable tax and financial incentives, special export facilities, and growing domestic and international demand. The opportunities in the downstream intermediate and specialty chemicals and conversion sectors in the Kingdom are significant and available to U.S. companies in particular.
To learn more about how you can get in touch with MISA or the other ministerial representatives at the Forum to access these opportunities, please contact David Callahan at email@example.com.