The U.S. Export-Import Bank has approved a $4.975 billion direct loan to Sadara Chemical Co. for the export of American goods and services required to build a petrochemical complex at Saudi Arabia’s Jubail Industrial City II.
According to estimates calculated from U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the financing will support about 18,400 American jobs, 12.5 percent of which come directly or indirectly from small businesses, in 13 states. Among the roughly 70 American exporters involved in the transaction are KBR, ABB, and Dow Chemical. More than 20 exporters are small businesses.
"No other transaction in Ex-Im Bank's storied history has supported as many American jobs as this transaction, and no other single transaction has provided so much support to small businesses,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. “Furthermore, the manufacturing jobs supported by this transaction will in turn support other jobs, allowing the benefits of the transaction to reverberate throughout key corners of the U.S. economy."
Sadara will be the largest integrated petrochemical complex ever constructed in a single phase and will comprise 26 process units producing more than 3 million metric tons of 10 major types of chemical products and specialty plastics per year. The complex will become operational in 2016, and its products will be available in markets throughout the world.
Sadara Chemical is a joint venture developed by the Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco) and Dow.
The loan marks Ex-Im Bank's second petrochemical transaction in Saudi Arabia. Other export-credit agencies participating in the transaction include the U.K. Export Credits Guarantee Department, Germany’s Hermes, Compagnie Française d'Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur of France, the Korea Export-Import Bank, and Korea Trade Insurance Corp.
In fiscal year 2011, Saudi Arabia accounted for $2 billion of Ex-Im Bank's credit exposure, and during the same year the bank authorized $1.4 million in financing for the export of American goods and services to the country.