UpdateSABIC, Mitsubishi Rayon in $1bn acrylics joint venture

10 August 2009 13:13  [Source: ICIS news]

(Updates, adding detail throughout)

SABIC, Mitsubishi Rayon in $1bn acylics JVSINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Petrochemical major Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) has signed a $1bn (€700m) joint venture acrylics deal with Japanese resin maker Mitsubishi Rayon, it said on Monday.

The venture will make methyl methacrylate (MMA) and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) in Saudi Arabia for car parts and the electronics industry.

It will use the ethylene-based Alpha process, commercialised by Mitsubishi rayon subsidiary Lucite, to make MMA in a 250,000 tonne/year plant.

The venture’s PMMA facility will have a design capacity of 30,000 tonnes/year, SABIC said.

SABIC will supply ethylene and methanol as raw materials for the joint venture.

The venture partners said they would explore possibilities to produce “other products” indentified under their letter of intent.

MMA and acrylic resin are widely used to produce automobile parts, optical screens and home appliances among other goods.

PMMA is used in construction and transport and to make liquid crystal display screens. It is also used in light emitting diode (LED) technology.

The joint venture announcement comes as Mitsubishi Rayon is named as a possible acquisition target for Japan’s largest chemicals producer, Mitsubishi Chemical.

MRC completed its $1.6bn acquisition of UK-headquartered Lucite at the end of May.

Lucite was initially formed in 1993 from an amalgamation of the acrylics businesses of ICI and DuPont and was later majority-owned by Charterhouse Capital Partners.

($1 = €0.70)

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By: Pearl Bantillo
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