Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) announced on March 13th that an expansion project worth $2.6 billion at the Yanpet petrochemical complex in Yanbu had come on stream.
Yanpet is a joint venture between SABIC and Exxon Mobil Corp., which said last month that it had completed expanding the complex, making it the world’s largest polyethylene plant.
A SABIC statement said that the expansion had added 420,000 tones per year (tpy) of ethylene glycol, 535,000 tpy of polyethylene, 260,000 tpy of polypropylene and 125,000 tpy of pyrolysis gasoline to its output capacity, in addition to a new 800,000-tpy ethylene cracker.
The statement said that: “Trial production began late last year and commercial production began in early 2001.” The president of SABIC’s polymers group, Fahad al-Sheaibi, said that the boost in Yanpet’s capacity is a vital part of increasing SABIC’s total annual capacity to 35 million tpy this year from about 28 million tpy in 2000.
He said that: “It significantly strengthens SABIC’s position in the global markets for polyethylene, polypropylene and ethylene glycol.”
SABIC, which is 70 percent owned by the Saudi government, manages and operates 16 complexes producing petrochemicals, fertilizers, plastics and steel with international firms.
Exxon Mobil and SABIC had in January completed a $1 billion expansion of their joint venture Kemya petrochemical plant on the eastern Saudi coast.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)