Saudi firm plans chemical plant

One of the world’s largest oil and gas corporations has announced plans to build a new Ethylene Glycol (EG) plant in Saudi Arabia. The new unit will be Saudi Basic Industries Corporation’s (Sabic) seventh EG plant...

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By  Patrick Phelvin Published  October 5, 2003

One of the world’s largest oil and gas corporations has announced plans to build a new ethylene glycol (EG) plant in Saudi Arabia. The new unit will be Saudi Basic Industries Corporation’s (Sabic) seventh EG plant and have an annual capacity of 625,000mt.

The plant will be built by Sabic’s subsidiary, the Jubail United Petrochemical Company (United), and is expected to go onstream by the end of 2005, adding to the existing 575,000 mt/y EG plant that is currently under construction.

The plant will use new technology from the US-based Scientific Design Company. Other Sabic companies will produce ethylene and oxygen for the plant — oxygen from its gas affiliate and ethylene from United and the Arabian Petrochemical Company.

The new plant will boost SABIC’s position as a leading global producer of EG, and is designed to enhance the company’s competitive reach worldwide and in the Middle East.

By 2006, SABIC’s total EG production will reach 3.5 million mt/y — meeting over 20% of global demand. Sharq (Eastern Petrochemical Company, Al-Jubail) will produce 1.5 million mt, 1.2 million mt will be produced by United and 800,000mt by the Saudi-Yanbu Petrochemical Company.

EG is the primary component in polyester manufacturing. It is also used in anti-freeze, marine engines, x-rays and luggage.

The contract for the construction of the new plant has not yet been awarded. The successful bidder will be announced later this year.

The Scientific Design Company is a joint venture between Sabic and Sud-Chemie in which the companies are equal partners.

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