JAC eyes end-2010 to raise funds for Singapore aromatics complex

10 August 2010 06:07  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Jurong Aromatics Corp (JAC) is targeting to raise funds for the construction of its planned petrochemical complex in Singapore by the end of the year, an official of a company privy to the project said on Tuesday.

“The target is at the end of this year. We are working hard to meet that,” said Dongkeun Lee, an official of SK Energy International, which is the project leader in the planned 1.45m tonne/year aromatics complex in Jurong Island.

If everything went according to plan, plant construction would start next year, with the start-up due in 2014, said Lee.

He declined to say how much stake SK Energy now has in the project.

JAC intends to build a condensate splitter that will produce 200,000 tonnes/year of orthoxylene, 450,000 tonnes/year of benzene and 800,000 tonnes/year of paraxylene.

Based on previous estimates, the project would cost around $2.0bn (€1.52bn) to build. JAC has a capital of $550m.

Reuters reported that JAC was in the process of changing its equity structure, with SK Energy raising its stake to 30% and China’s Jiangsu Sanfangxiang Industrial Group increasing its interest to 25% from 10% previously.

Major commodity trader Glencore is also among the foreign groups backing the project.

The project was originally due to start construction in late 2008 but funding was hit by the credit crunch following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September of that year.

Singapore’s regulatory body – the Economic Development Board (EDB) has a 5% interest in the project.

“Our position has always been it is important for JAC to seek financial closure,” the EDB said in an e-mailed statement.

“EDB will continue to facilitate the project in terms of its feasibility in Singapore,” it added.

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Pearl Bantillo
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