Saudi Arabia Launches Third Privately-Owned Petrochemical Plant
The kingdom's third privately-owned petrochemical company, Saudi International Petrochemical Co. (SIPC), has announced work will start on an 11-billion-dollar plant in the Gulf town of Jubail, newspapers reported Thursday.
The SIPC plant will be fully operational by the end of 2003, the Arab News quoted company chairman Abdulaziz al-Zamil as saying.
SIPC will be a joint stock company incorporated in Riyadh with a paid-up capital of 133 million dollars, 65 percent of which will be contributed from Saudi investors and the remainder from other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Zamil added.
SIPC signed a contract with Fluor Daniel Inc. for the overall management of the plant, based in Jubail industrial city, which will produce butanediol (BDO) and tetrahydrofuran (THF) chemicals, widely used in plastics.
The kingdom's first fully private petrochemical plant opened February 1, also in Jubail, as a joint venture between the US-based Chevron Chemical Co. and the private Saudi Industrial Venture Capital Group.
The Saudi-owned National Industrialization Co. (NIC), in partnership with Germany's Targor GmbH, said in May that work was to start in late 2000 to build the second privately-owned complex at a cost of more than 500 million dollars.
The other petrochemical ventures in Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, are all owned by the giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), which is 70 percent state-owned.
The privatization process is part of the government's plans to increase foreign and domestic investment - RIYADH (AFP)
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