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Aramco-backed SABIC to rely more on renewables amid 2050 net zero pledge


SABIC signs MOU with Saudi energy minister in field of renewables

Few details on the types of renewables, or quantities involved

Saudi Arabia is aiming for net zero emissions by 2060

  • Author
  • Dania Saadi
  • Editor
  • Claudia Carpenter
  • Commodity
  • Coal Energy Transition Natural Gas Oil Petrochemicals

Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the Middle East's biggest petrochemical maker that is 70% owned by Saudi Aramco, plans to rely more on renewables in power generation for its operations as it seeks to meet a 2050 net zero carbon emissions pledge, its CEO Yousef al-Benyan said on Nov. 28.

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The petrochemicals giant on Nov 28 signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi energy ministry in the field of developing renewable energy projects, providing a platform for SABIC to reach its net zero goal, the ministry said in a statement. No details were provided on the types of renewables or the amount of power planned. SABIC's net zero target is the same as the 2050 pledge by Aramco, which has also begun to move into renewables.

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, plans to generate half of its power from renewables and the other half from natural gas by 2030.

The kingdom also wants to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2060 while boosting its oil production. More than 60 initiatives are planned at an initial cost of almost $190 billion to reach the 2060 target, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced Oct. 23.

Reducing emissions

Renewables, carbon capture, utilization and storage, direct air capture, hydrogen and low carbon fuels are among the projects that Saudi Arabia will develop to help achieve the target, Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told the inaugural annual Saudi Green Initiative forum in Riyadh.

The goal refers to emissions produced domestically and does not apply to hydrocarbons exported and combusted elsewhere.

Saudi Arabia's interim target is to reduce carbon emission by more than 278 mt/year by 2030, more than double the target set earlier this year, according to a government statement. The kingdom will also join the Global Methane Pledge to contribute to cutting global methane emissions by 30% by 2030, the crown prince said.

The Saudi plan follows the UAE's announcement on Oct. 7 that it aims to achieve net zero by 2050, becoming the first country in the Middle East to set such a goal.

The UAE's program includes $163 billion in planned investment for renewables alone even as the country aims to expand its crude production capacity 25% by 2030, as well as boost its gas output.