French oil and petrochemical giant Total is moving forward with two large projects. With Saudi Aramco, it will begin front-end engineering and design for a $5 billion petrochemical project in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The centerpiece will be a 1.5-million-metric-ton-per-year ethylene cracker with downstream derivatives, which would start up in 2024. Aramco will own a 62.5% stake in the project; Total will hold the rest. The partners hope to attract an additional $4 billion in petrochemical and specialty chemical investment from third parties. Separately, Total hopes to begin engineering in November for a new, 550,000-metric-ton-per-year propylene dehydrogenation and polypropylene complex with Algerian state oil company Sonatrach for Arzew, Algeria. Sonatrach will own 51% of the new facility, which is expected to cost $1.4 billion. Oil companies are making a push into petrochemicals to make up for a future of stagnant growth in fuels. A new International Energy Agency report(see page 19) underscores that view and predicts that petrochemical manufacturing will outpace transportation fuels as the main user of hydrocarbon raw materials by 2050, mainly to meet demand from developing countries.