03 April 2005 21:10 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--Sabic plans to build another cracker at the Al-Jubail petrochemical complex in ?xml:namespace>
Al-Morished also disclosed that up to a 40% stake in the earlier announced cracker project at Yanbu, also in
He also gave details on the progress of the Yanbu project, and on the Sadaf styrene project.
The senior executive disclosed that the new cracker at Al-Jubail - Petrokemya IV - would have an ethylene capacity of at least 1.3m tonne/year. He added that the downstream slate had yet to be determined as negotiations with Saudi Aramco on feedstock supply were ongoing. “The cracker could either be ethane and propane fed or natural gas liquids fed, and so we cannot as yet say what will be built downstream. We expect to conclude the talks with Saudi Aramco by the end of this year,” he said.
Petrokemya, the 100% owned Sabic subsidiary, already operates three crackers with the latest – 800,000 tonne/year – brought onstream in 2000.
In late 2003, Sabic finally confirmed that it would go ahead with another cracker at Yanbu after first announcing the project to Asian Chemical News three years earlier. Sabic and ExxonMobil already operate two cracker and downstream complexes at Yanbu – Yanpet I and Yanpet II.
It was then announced in September last year that Foster Wheeler had won a programme management service contract for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for the new complex.
Al-Morished added that invitations to bid for the EPC contracts for each of the units that would make up the complex had been issued. The bids are due to be returned in 3-4 months, construction is due to start this year and start-up has been scheduled for the first half of 2008.
The complex will comprise a 1.3m tonne/year cracker, an 800,000 tonne/year polyethylene (PE) plant, a 700,000 tonne/year ethylene glycol (EG) plant and a 350,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) facility.
He also disclosed that 30-40% of the Yanbu project could be sold to private investors.
Between 30-40% of equity in the company established to run the new facilities - Yanbu National Petrochemical - could be sold to investors from the Gulf Co-operation Council countries through a listing in
Al-Morished said that a proposal for the listing is being evaluated by the Ministry of Commerce with a decision expected this year.
Al-Morished said that the motive behind the planned listing was ‘to spread our wealth through the community. We have a social responsibility to do so.’
He added that the closest to a project listing before was the sale of a 25% stake in Jubail United Petrochemical Co (JUPC) to Saudi government- and company-operated pension funds. JUPC brought a 1m tonne/year cracker onstream in October last year.
And he said that front-end engineering design work for the 500,000 tonne/year expansion of Sadaf - the styrene joint venture (jv) between Sabic and Shell at Al-Jubail - had been completed. Start-up was scheduled for the first half of 2008 with construction set to start this year, he said. The expansion will take Sadaf’s capacity to 1.55m tonne/year.
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