Dow's Liveris stresses propylene, derivatives, in Saudi Aramco JV

25 July 2011 20:31  [Source: ICIS news]

Dow CEO Andrew LiverisHOUSTON (ICIS)--The massive joint venture between US Dow Chemical and Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia will have a strong emphasis on propylene and its derivatives, Dow said on Monday.

“The heavy propylene downstream emphasis, as well as … aromatics, means that this cannot be seen as an ethane, ethylene commodity EO [ethylene oxide] or polyethylene play,” said Dow CEO Andrew Liveris during a conference call addressing the details of the joint venture.

The $20bn (€14bn) joint venture is unique in that it is not the typical play that has been seen in Saudi Arabia, Liveris said.

“It's a top quartile play based on its ability to provide the propylene derivatives in advantages you would otherwise not get from a straight ethane cracker.”

The complex will use multiple feedstocks, including heavy liquids, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and ethane.

“We have contractual basis for all the feedstocks,” he said.

He continued, “We believe this is not only a feedstock advantage but also an energy advantage in terms of the pricing structures in natural gas and fuel oil that will be used on the site for power. The allocations that have been obtained from the Saudi Arabian government are significant and give this cracker the ability to crack the feedstock slate that is available within the Kingdom.”

Dow expects its franchise packaging and polyurethanes segments to especially benefit from the joint venture because the complex is strategically positioned to easily access emerging markets, such as India, China and eastern Europe.

Dow and Saudi Aramco announced the formation of the Sadara joint venture project on Monday. They would build and operate a chemicals complex in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia.

Construction of the facility will begin immediately and the first production units will come on line in the second half of 2015, with all units expected to be up and running in 2016.

The complex will comprise 26 manufacturing units and include a world-scale cracker and production units for polyurethanes (isocyanates, polyether polyols), propylene oxide (PO), propylene glycol (PG), elastomers, linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE), glycol ethers and amines. It will produce over 3m tonnes/year of high value-added chemical products and performance plastics, Dow Chemical and Saudi Aramco said.

($1 = €0.70)

For more on Dow Chemical, visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Bobbie Clark
+1 713 525 2653

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