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.
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 various phases of major expansions, earning us a place among the world’s leading companies.
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 2014 it had reached 69.7 mmt. The SABIC 2025 strategy clearly signifies our vision to be the preferred world leader in chemicals.