Saudi Aramco seeks investors for potential PTA project

04 July 2011 11:41  [Source: ICIS news]

Saudi Aramco plans several projectsHONG KONG (ICIS)--Saudi Aramco is seeking investors for a potential purified terephthalic acid (PTA) project in the kingdom, a company official said on Monday.

The official said that this was in order to off-take paraxylene (PX) from its 700,000 tonne/year unit when it comes on stream in the second half of 2013.

“We’ve had two players coming forward previously but the negotiations have stopped,” said the official, who did not disclose the names of the parties nor their reasons for bringing discussions to a close.

“We are still looking for people to invest in the PTA unit to off-take PX from our plant,” said the official at the Global PX-Polyester Chain Focus 2011.

Saudi Aramco has a joint venture with France’s Total, Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical (Satorp) to build a 700,000 tonne/year PX facility at its Jubail refinery and petrochemical project. This is expected to come on stream in the second half of 2013.

“Satorp will handle any domestic sales while the balance of the export volumes with be split equally between Saudi Aramco and Total”, the official said.

There is only one 350,000 tonne/year PTA unit in Saudi Arabia, operated by SABIC, and integrated with a 385,000 tonne/year PX facility at the same petrochemical site.

“If there are no domestic sales when we start up our plant, then we are looking to move volumes to China”, the official said. “We are expecting demand for PX in China to remain strong as several PTA projects are due to start up in the next two years.”

According to ICIS data, nearly 7m tonnes of new PTA capacities will come on stream in 2012 while 2m tonnes of new PX projects are expected in the same period.

Please visit the complete ICIS plants and projects database

By: Bohan Loh
+65 6780 4359

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