(MENAFN - Arab News) The US Export-Import Bank has approved a record-breaking 4.975 billion direct loan to help build a petrochemical complex in the Kingdom, the bank said.
The loan to the Sadara Chemical Company, a joint venture between Dow Chemical Co. and Saudi Aramco, is the biggest in the bank's history, Ex-Im Bank President Fred Hochberg said in a statement, cited by Reuters.
Around 70 companies including Dow, KBR, ABB Inc. and more than 20 small businesses are expected to export US goods and services to the facility in Jubail Industrial City II under the loan, the bank said.
The complex is expected to be operational in 2016 and will consist of 26 processing units producing more than 3 million metric tons of 10 major categories of chemical products and specialty plastics per year, the bank said.
"Ex-Im Bank's action will allow US manufacturers ... to sell equipment and services to the largest industrial complex ever built in a single phase," Reuters quoted Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris as saying in a statement.
Government export credit agencies in Britain, Germany, France and South Korea are also helping to finance construction of the complex.
According to Reuters, the loan marks Ex-Im Bank's second petrochemical transaction in Saudi Arabia and its second huge financing project in recent weeks in the Gulf region.
It announced a 2 billion direct loan on Sept. 7 to Barakah One Co. of the UAE to buy US equipment and construction services to build one of the largest nuclear power plants.
The US Trade Representative's office earlier announced it had signed a framework agreement with the Kingdom and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to explore ways to boost bilateral trade and investment.