Projects: Sabic proceeds with Saudi ABS project

18 June 2012 00:00  [Source: ICB]

Petrokemya is moving ahead with its long-awaited acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) project. The company, an affiliate of Saudi major SABIC, has awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the project to Spain's Tecnicas Reunidas. Located in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia, the plant will have a 140,000 tonne/year capacity and is scheduled to be mechanically completed during the fourth quarter of 2014.

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The project, which was first announced in 2008, was originally expected to have a 200,000 tonne/year capacity.

SABIC said in a statement to the Saudi stock exchange that it will finance the $561m (€449m) project from its own resources.

Tecnicas Reunidas said the ABS project includes a polybutadiene latex unit, a high rubber graft unit, a styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) unit, a chemical storage facility, a compounding unit, a packaging facility and utilities, as well as facilities for unloading and storage of acrylonitrile (ACN) feedstock. The EPC contract is valued at $400m, it added.

The ABS plant will use emulsion technology licensed from SABIC's Innovative Plastics business, and will produce a variety of grades for the automotive industry, electrical appliances and other products.

SABIC announced plans last year to build a 200,000 tonne/year ACN plant in Al-Jubail as part of a joint venture agreement with Japanese companies Asahi Kasei and Mitsubishi Corp. A final investment decision on the ACN project, plus an associated sodium cyanide project, is expected later this year.


The Petrokemya project will be Saudi Arabia's first ABS plant, and is part of the country's plans to add greater value to its hydrocarbon resources by expanding into higher-performance downstream products. Other new products that will be available for Saudi industries include synthetic rubbers and carbon black for the tire and construction industries, as well as polycarbonate (PC), polyurethane (PU) and nylon for the automotive industry.

"Growing value downstream is beneficial for all stakeholders in Saudi Arabia," Prince Faisal Bin Turki, adviser to Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, stated in December. "It provides petrochemical companies with opportunities to expand their markets and broaden their business portfolio and at the same time allows its economy to diversify and grow and provide job opportunities for its people."

By: Anna Jagger
+44 20 8652 3214

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