Cost-benefit analysis of the petrochemical industry : the case of Saudi Arabia
The aim of this thesis is to examine a cost- benefit analysis of the petrochemical industry comparing the costs of production, such as capital cost, labour cost, etc. in Saudi Arabia, and show the degree of its competitiveness in the international market. Also it discusses and evaluates the industrial development process in Saudi Arabia. The labour shortage and the marketing problems of the petrochemical products will be examined and solutions to these problems will be given. This research started by dealing with the theoretical background of the development planning. Various sources of energy literature have been reviewed, describing the role that hydrocarbon resource exploitation played in the Saudi development plans. Its objectives are to identify and understand the development problems, its strategies, objectives and plans of the Saudi government by paying attention to the role of the oil and gas resources and the country opportunities for diversification of the economy and decreasing dependence on crude oil and to use their limited resources more efficiently. Various procedural approaches were considered for evaluating development projects in order to increase the effectiveness of the development programs in Saudi Arabia. These include: improving the people's welfare, increasing national income, expanding the country's absorptive capacity and shifting to a renewable resource base. The petrochemical industry is the most feasible industry to be established in Saudi Arabia at this time. It would provide the country with the best alternative for steady economic growth with decreasing emphasis on the export of oil. The thesis will try to prove that the development of the petrochemical industry in Saudi Arabia is an adequate economic project, only if the major constraints such as labour shortage and marketing and profitability on the international market for petrochemical products can be overcome or at least minimised.