IPIC considers initiatives with chemical companies

18 November 2009 17:51  [Source: ICIS news]

Abu Dhabi chemicals plansLONDON (ICIS news)--International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) is considering a number of initiatives with different chemical companies, a spokesman with the Abu Dhabi-based company said on Wednesday.

IPIC was reacting to earlier press reports that the group was in discussions with Bayer MaterialScience over the formation of a joint venture to establish a petrochemical plant in Abu Dhabi.

An IPIC spokesman said: “At present there are no firm plans to do anything with Bayer MaterialScience, or any other chemical company. A number of initiatives are under consideration internally, but nothing has been decided.”

A Bloomberg report quoted IPIC’s managing director, Khadem al-Qubaisi, as saying that IPIC was discussing a venture with Bayer MaterialScience, NOVA Chemicals, Borealis and two South Korean companies, to create a petrochemical plant in Abu Dhabi.

State-run IPIC owns 100% of Canada-based commodity chemical group NOVA Chemicals and 64% of Austria-based polyolefins group Borealis.

Abu Dhabi is planning the Chemaweyaat chemical city in the new Mina Khalifa Industrial Zone, which is located in theTaweelah area.

The first phase of the city includes a 1.45m tonne/year ethylene plant, which is to begin production in 2014. The next stages of construction may involve the production of aromatics and phenol.

On his blog, Paul Hodges, chairman of consultancy International eChem, said acquisitions and joint ventures by IPIC would be driven by the need for technology. 

The Chemaweyaat development “will be based on liquid feeds, rather than ethane”, wrote Hodges.

“[Chemaweyaat] will therefore allow Abu Dhabi to grow their propylene position, and to move into the other 'building block' products, such as butadiene, benzene and paraxylene for the first time. In turn, this drives a need for derivative technology,” according to Hodges.

On 17 November, IPIC’s Al-Qubaisi told ICIS news that he expected to sign a deal to acquire a major European-based petrochemical company by the first quarter of 2010.

Al-Qubaisi said he was in talks with Germany’s Bayer MaterialScience and four other global petrochemical groups over the deal.

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Will Beacham
+44 20 8652 3214

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