Saudi Arabia's SABIC to invest at Teesside plant in northeast England

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the headquarters of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 27, 2013. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File Photo

(Reuters) – The British government said that Saudi petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) would invest nearly 1 billion pounds ($1.37 billion) at its Teesside facility in northeast England with the aim of decarbonisation.

“Fantastic to see nearly £1 billion invested in @SABIC’s Teesside facility, creating and safeguarding 1,000 jobs,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a tweet on Wednesday evening.

“It’s a huge vote of confidence in the UK’s chemicals and processing industry, which is pioneering innovation in clean, green technology,” he added.

SABIC confirmed the investment in a statement to Reuters and said its total investment in the UK is around 1 billion pounds.

The company said the investment would include strengthening operations at Teesside and enabling its chemical cracker transformation.

“This will reduce its carbon footprint by up to 60 per cent in phase one, making it one of the world’s lowest carbon-emitting crackers,” it added.

The announcement comes as Britain is set to host the COP26 U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland.

Earlier this month, the UK government set out a net-zero strategy under which it aims to help the country gain a competitive edge in low-carbon technologies such as carbon capture and storage.

Earlier on Wednesday, Saudi Arabia’s investment minister, Khalid al-Falih, said Saudi Arabia and Britain had signed a memorandum of understanding to promote bilateral investment flows.

($1 = 0.7280 pounds)

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