NPE ’09: SABIC targets US for polyolefin exports

22 June 2009 19:22  [Source: ICIS news]

Mohamed Al MadyCHICAGO (ICIS news)--SABIC is taking its first steps towards exporting polyolefins to the US with plans to begin establishing warehouses in the country,  executives said on Monday.

“The US will become a net importer of polymer material,” said SABIC chief executive Mohamed Al-Mady. He made his comments during a press conference at the NPE international plastics show in Chicago.

“SABIC is capable of fulfilling those requirements,” Al-Mady said.

Part of SABIC’s plan involves establishing warehouses in the US, since exporting directly from Saudi Arabia would create an unwieldy supply chain, said Khaled Al-Mana, vice president of SABIC Polymers.

However, Al-Mady said the company’s strategy to sell polymers to the US was still evolving.

Overall, SABIC saw several areas of growth in the US and in emerging markets, Al-Mady said. In general, SABIC will persevere through the current economic downturn and will flourish once the economy recovers.

Charlie Crew, chief executive of SABIC Innovative Plastics, said “The industry is still vibrant.”

The automobile industry, despite weak sales, will still be a lucrative market, as car makers are eager to adopt new materials, Crew said. “There is a lot more penetration we can do.”

Demand for new materials is making innovation more important than in times past, Crew said. “We all believe that this is a critical time to show that we will invest in this industry.”

As such, Al-Mady said the company is opening research centres in Saudi Arabia, China and India.

Al-Mana said the company’s polyolefins capacity should increase by 4m tonnes/year to 12m tonnes by 2012.

The International Plastics Showcase (NPE) in Chicago was expected to draw 75,000 participants and runs through Friday.

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For more on SABIC, visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Al Greenwood
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