InterviewCHINAPLAS '13: SABIC says no restructuring plan for Asia ops

20 May 2013 10:06  [Source: ICIS news]

By Chow Bee Lin

SABIC building (source: SABIC)GUANGZHOU (ICIS)--Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical giant SABIC has no plans to rationalise its operations in Asia, where demand growth is still strong compared with Europe's, a senior company executive said on Monday.

The company had recently announced plans to restructure its operations in debt-ridden Europe, entailing plant closure and heavy job cuts including job cuts, to strengthen its business.

“SABIC is a big, global producer. We are always looking for ways to improve our efficiency, regardless of place and time,” SABIC EVP for polymers Khaled Al Mana told ICIS.

But currently, SABIC’s operations in Asia do not require rationalisation measures, said Al Mana at the sidelines of Chinaplas 2013.

SABIC has more than 2,400 employees and over 40 offices in Asia where it has been enjoying double-digit growth since it came to this region in 1980.

The producer views Asia as a key strategic market where it would strive to increase its competitiveness by being close to the market, expanding its product portfolio and investing in technology developments, he said.

SABIC also leverages on its feedstock advantage to enhance its competitiveness in Asia, he added.

The producer is eager to expand its product portfolio to include premium products such as metallocene linear low density polyethylene (MLLDPE) and polyurethanes, he said.

“SABIC is pursuing the production of polyurethanes in Saudi Arabia, we are working very hard to materialise the production as soon as possible,” he said.

The company has no specific plans to add MLLDPE to its portfolio at this stage but if there is an opportunity to develop this product grade, SABIC will be very eager to pursue it, Al Mana said.

The Saudi petrochemical firm is also exploring the possibility of other collaborations with Sinopec, its joint venture partner in China, he said.

“Our strategy is not only to be a buyer or a seller in China, but to be a partner in China,” he said.

SABIC and Sinopec have an existing joint venture petrochemical complex in Tianjin that produces polyolefins, and will start producing polycarbonates in 2015.

Chinaplas is a four-day exhibition in Guangzhou that started on Monday.

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections


By: Chow Bee Lin
+65 6780 4359



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