KBR and Saudi Kayan announce start-up of cracker in Al-Jubail

01 September 2010 19:55  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds capacity information in paragraph 3)

LONDON (ICIS)--US engineering and construction company Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), and SABIC affiliate Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Company (Saudi Kayan), announced late on Tuesday that they had officially started-up the Saudi Kayan steam cracker in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

KBR carried out the engineering, procurement and construction of the cracker, which it said has a nameplate capacity of 1.35m tonnes/year.

According to Saudi Kayan, the cracker can produce 1.48m tonnes/year of ethylene.

ICIS reported on 26 July that the cracker had started up, but the Tuesday statement was the first official confirmation.

“The unit started up successfully with on-specification ethylene being produced at the end of July 2010,” KBR said.

“The cracker….currently feeds predominately butane and ethane with total final products [ethylene, propylene and benzene] totalling 2.1m ..., making it one of the largest crackers in the world,” it added.

Additionally, the statement said that the complex would cater to high value sectors of the polyethylene, polypropylene and ethylene glycol markets and would introduce high value added products and derivatives such as polycarbonate and amines for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Kayan said in July that it expected the project to run 24% or Saudi riyals (SR) 9bn ($2.4bn) over cost and was working working with "one or more banks to cover the increase in costs, with support from major shareholders to ensure complete implementation of all plants at the company’s complex on time".

SABIC has a 35% stake in the venture and Al-Kayan Petrochemical Company 20%. The remaining shares are publicly traded on the Saudi bourse.

($1 = SR0.2666)

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By: Franco Capaldo
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