05 February 2007 00:00 [Source: ICB]
SABIC DETERMINES TO TAKE FIGHT TO EUROPEAN GIANTS
SABIC is planning to expand into value-added speciality chemicals to compete with European giants such as BASF.
Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, the company's CEO, Mohamed Al-Mady, told Bloomberg: "The Europeans are developing more sophisticated products, and so are we."
SABIC also plans to spend $23bn (€17.7bn) to increase total production by 49% to 73m tonnes/year by 2009, he added.
By 2020, specialty chemicals such as polycarbonates will make up 25% to 30% of the firm's sales, according to its forecast.
Other chemical leaders at Davos included Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, who said that the company could make $10bn of acquisitions, although Dow would not comment on market speculations that it could buy the plastics unit of General Electric (GE).
"I don't speculate on specifics, but affordability-wise, we can do that sort of number," Liveris told Reuters.
However, he said that a purchase of GE's business would raise antitrust issues, although it was possible that these could be addressed.
Liveris had earlier said that a move on styrenics could be expected "anytime soon."
Liveris also revealed that Dow could cooperate with Gazprom on the building of mass-chemical production facilities, in return for the sale of feedstock from it at a lower price.
See also www.icis.com/news
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