Saudi’s Al Waha will not stop copolymer PP production at Al-Jubail

15 March 2012 05:48  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Al Waha Petrochemicals is not planning to stop producing copolymer-grade polypropylene (PP) at its 450,000 tonne/year PP plant in Al-Jubail at Saudi Arabia, a source close to the Saudi company said late on Wednesday.

The company switched to making this grade because of better margins, the source said, adding that it started copolymer PP production after the Al-Jubail power outage in January, the source added.

“The price premium of copolymer grades over homopolymer grades is getting lucrative in markets, such as India,” the source said.

The average weekly prices of raffia PP and block copolymer grades were reported by market sources on 9 March to be at $1,470/tonne (1,132/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) India Main Port and $1,595/tonne CFR India Main Port, respectively, according to data from ICIS.

Dutch major LyondellBasell, which is a joint-venture partner of Al Waha with a 25% stake, is currently marketing copolymer PP solely from this facility, market players said.

Saudi Arabia’s SAHARA Petrochemicals holds the remaining 75% stake.

LyondellBasell’s second joint venture, Saudi Polyolefins’ 720,000 tonne/year PP plant at the same site, will be marketing homopolymer PP.

Both Al Waha and Saudi Polyolefins are running their PP units are full tilt, sources close to the companies said, adding that there are no upcoming scheduled turnarounds in the near-term.   

Additional reporting by Cuckoo James

($1 = 0.77)

By: Ong Sheau Ling
+65 6780 4359

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