The giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) has opened two new polyethylene plants with a total capacity of 485,000 metric tons a year, newspapers reported on Friday.
A 220,000-ton factory for low-density polyethylene started production on June 11th in the industrial city of Jubail on the Gulf coast and a 265,000-tonne plant for high-density product was launched on June 9th in the Red Sea city of Yanbu.
SABIC, in a press statement, said it would open another polyethylene factory in Yanbu, western Saudi Arabia, in mid-July and a new unit in August, adding another 260,000 tons a year of the product used for plastics.
In April, the company reported that net profits for the first quarter of 2000 rose to 246.4 million dollars, increasing more than fourfold over the same period of 1999.
Rises in petrochemical prices and demand as well as a drop in operating costs were the major factors, it said.
SABIC, which plans to boost its overall capacity to 48 million tons per year by 2010, has 19 subsidiaries, which are mainly joint ventures with foreign companies.
Chemical products, mostly ethylene, polyethylene and methanol, account for 58 percent of SABIC sales. Fertilizers account for 25 percent, plastic 15 percent and metals (iron and aluminum) two percent.
The group is 70 percent owned by the Saudi government and 30 percent by private investors from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries - RIYADH (AFP)
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