Saudi Arabia could subscribe to the giant “Nibras” petrochemical project which will be built in Iraq by UK-headquartered Shell, according to Iraq’s Oil Minister.

Hayan Abdel Ghani said Iraq and Saudi Arabia discussed the Kingdom’s contribution to the $8.5 billion project during talks of their joint council in the Western Saudi Red Sea port of Jeddah on Friday.

On Sunday, he was quoted by Iraq’s Shafaq News agency as saying that the discussions also covered the possibility of building a solar power plant in Iraq with Saudi funding and the planned electricity link between the two countries.

“We studied the possibility of investment by Saudi companies in a number of projects in Iraq including Nibras petrochemical complex,” the Minister said.

Iraqi officials said last week that 'Nibras,' which would be constructed in the Southern port of Basra with a capacity of 1.8 million tonnes per year, could be launched within days.

Iraq’s government will control 51 percent of the joint venture, one of the region’s largest petrochemical plants, while Shell will own 49 percent.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)