SATORP has chosen for its new refinery a distinguished site in Jubail Industrial City on the Arabian Gulf coast, about 100 km north of Dammam, the capital city of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. This unique location has a two-fold advantage: proximity to both the international maritime waterways across the Gulf and to the energy sources and raw materials necessary for the facility’s operation.
The industrial city
The availability and reliability of the infrastructure and utilities such as water and power networks in Jubail Industrial City, and the presence of existing industrial facilities, will facilitate the construction and operation of SATORP. The familiarity of contractors and subcontractors with Jubail means better access to manpower and construction equipment, such as machines and cranes, and faster completion times for basic preparation tasks.
Jubail in history
Historians differ about the name "Al-Jubail" (the Small Mountain). Some say it is Phoenician in origin, relating to Jubail of Lebanon which is in the vicinity of Tire and 'Araad in the north-eastern Mediterranean. Others claim that it is a more recent name derived from Arabic as it means "Small Mountain" in reference to the small hill once found to the northeast of the town. Additionally, it was known until recently in some historical references by the name of "'Aynayn" or "'Ainain". Whatever the case, the antiquities discovered in the area prove that it has a history deeply rooted in the past, linked to one of the first human civilizations known by man south of the valley of Mesopotamia, dating back 7,000 years. However, in the Pre-Islamic and the First Islamic eras, the Jubail area was known by the name of "'Aynayn" and most probably was inhabited by Banu Tamim (sons of Tamim, a tribe). In modern times, Jubail joined Saudi rule during the opening of Al-Hasa in 1331H (1912/13G), and it was visited by King ‘Abdul-‘Aziz on 21 Ramadan 1348 H (February 27, 1930 G).
In the recent past, before the discovery of oil in the Kingdom, Jubail was famous for pearling, along neighboring Gulf States such as Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. With the dwindling role of the pearl trade, it became a small village on the Arabian Gulf coast inhabited by fishermen and pearl divers. Even today, Bedouins live their traditional lifestyle in the bordering desert.
Jubail Industrial City was established close to the original town, marking a turning point in the Kingdom’s rapid industrial development. Today, Jubail is home to the biggest petrochemical complex of its kind in the world, and the residential area boasts comfortable housing built to the latest standards and extensive recreation facilities.