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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

Saudi Aramco seeks to be market leader of non-metallic materials sector

The state-run company wants to produce more materials that can replace certain metals and products in various industries

Saudi Aramco has been looking to boost capacity on its Red Sea coast to circumvent the congested and tense Strait of Hormuz. REUTERS
Saudi Aramco has been looking to boost capacity on its Red Sea coast to circumvent the congested and tense Strait of Hormuz. REUTERS

Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producing company, plans to to be a global market leader in the production of non-metallic materials such as hoses and flowlines made from petrochemical products rather than steel or other metals.

Aramco plans to pursue opportunities in the non-metallic sector as part of plans to cater to the automotive, building and construction, package and renewables sectors, the company’s vice president of engineering services, Abdullah Al Baiz, said in a statement.

Greater usage of non-metallic materials in various industries will help boost the consumption of crude oil, he said.

“It represents a great opportunity to increase global crude demand,” said Mr Al Baiz. “Our goal is to lead the non-metallic materials business globally.”

State-run Aramco is diversifying into several areas besides oil and gas production to help boost its income as well as localise production in the kingdom.

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The company is increasing its petrochemical production and refining capacity to deliver products to local downstream industries in addition to exporting goods.

To localise content, the company has adopted the In-Kingdom Total Value Add initiative or IKTVA, which aims to meet at least 70 per cent of its procurement spending from Saudi companies by 2021.

“We will achieve our target by being active in the following four areas: maximising deployment; promoting research and development; supporting localisation through our flagship IKTVA initiative; and finally by investing in relevant companies in all stages of maturity,” he said.

As part of the company’s pivot to non-metallic materials production, it plans to cater to the renewables sector by helping replace the use of glass in solar panels with polycarbonate, which is lighter in weight and has impact resistance and low thermal conductivity, he added.