Background and History

Creation

SABIC’s creation by royal decree in September 1976 was a bold step for a developing country. It marked a move into using the by-products of oil extraction to produce value-added commodities – such as chemicals, polymers and fertilizers – for export. These commodities were also intended to create new industries, helping Saudi Arabia to diversify and to develop.

Development

As a result, during the late 1970s and early 1980s the fishing village of Al-Jubail transformed into a modern industrial city, with the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu building the infrastructure, and SABIC building the factories. Our first joint-venture plant began production in 1983, followed by several affiliated companies. We have now been through three phases of major expansion, earning us a place among the world’s fastest-growing companies.

Emergence

SABIC’s emergence in the 1980s was described by industry media as “one of the most rapid and coherent industrialization developments of the 20th century”. We haven’t stopped since: in 1985 our total production was 6.3 million metric tons (mmt); by the end of 2005 it had reached 46.7 mmt and we intend, by 2008, to be among the top industry players, with a targeted capacity of 60 mmt per year. Thirty years after our modest beginnings, we have grown to take our place among the world leaders in our field.