A ground-breaking ceremony in the Middle East has officially marked the start of construction at what will be the world’s largest industrial gas plant.

Representatives from Saudi Aramco, and joint venture partners ACWA Holding and Air Products, gathered at the site of the Jazan air separation unit (ASU) facility dedicated to the Jazan Refinery Complex Project to officially kick-start the construction of the $2.1bn complex.

Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of the Jazan Gas Projects Company (JGPC) Board and Chairman of ACWA Holding Board, stated, “Construction on-site started a month earlier than planned, initial drawings have been issued and we have a clear plan of mobilisation to Jazan from this date.”

Construction on-site started a month earlier than planned, initial drawings have been issued and we have a clear plan of mobilisation to Jazan from this date

Once completed, the gas complex will feature six air separation trains designed and built by Tier One corporation Air Products. The plant will produce a total of 75,000 metric tonnes per day of industrial gas, broken down into 20,000 tonnes of oxygen (O2) and 55,000 tonnes of nitrogen (N2).

This gas will be delivered to Saudi Aramco’s refinery being built in the Middle East, with the agreement of supply spanning 20 years.

The multi-billion-dollar joint venture between ACWA Holding and Air Products, which will see the companies own 75% and 25% respectively, will be the largest industrial gas complex in the world once completed in 2018.

It is estimated that the complex will create around 100 direct local jobs and will be a crucial foundation in the expansion of Jazan’s Economic City – a strategic area of growth for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.