InterviewNama Chemicals looks upstream

13 December 2007 13:58  [Source: ICIS news]

By Jeanne Lim


DUBAI (ICIS news)--Saudi Arabia's Nama Chemicals is a downstream producer who is seeking its fortunes upstream, the company's president said on Thursday.


It is natural for the Saudi-listed epoxy resins producer to move upstream as this gives it more control over feedstock costs, said Abdulmohsen Al-Ogaili, speaking to ICIS news on the sidelines of the 2nd Gulf Petrochemical and Chemical Association (GPCA) Forum which ends on 13 December.


“Can a downstream company without economical feedstock survive?" he posed. "The longer [you move] your value chain upstream, the better the economics. There's no reason why a company downstream shouldn't move upstream.”


To this end, the company is partnering Malaysia's state energy firm Petronas to bid for Saudi Arabia's first private sector 400,000 bbl/day refinery project in Jazan, south of the kingdom, said Al-Ogaili.


The government is expected to present bidding companies with request for proposals (RFP) by the first quarter next year.


Nama Chemicals also plans to be the No 1 supplier to the epoxy market in the Middle East, said Al-Ogaili.


It is in the midst of doubling its epoxy resin capacity to 120,000 tonnes/year.


The expansion plant located in Jubail is expected to start up commercially in the first quarter of 2011.


Nama also expects to start up a 30,000 tonne/year epichlorohydrin (ECH) unit, a 60,000 tonne/year caustic soda prills plant and a 50,000 tonne/year calcium chloride facility next quarter.


The company, which currently supplies to 60% of the Saudi Arabian market, considers Dow Chemical, Huntsman and Hexion as competitors.


“We're a small company but we're agile. We understand the logic [in the region] a little better. We also deliver faster because we're near. We have certain advantages that we're trying to maximise,” said Al-Ogaili.

By: Jeanne Lim
+65 6780 4359

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