Toho, TASNEE, Cristal to produce titanium sponge in Saudi Arabia

22 January 2014 08:52  [Source: ICIS news]

By Pearl BantilloToho, TASNEE, Cristal set up joint venture

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s Toho Titanium Co Ltd and Saudi Arabia’s The National Industrialization Co (TASNEE) and The National Titanium Dioxide Co Ltd (Cristal) have agreed to build a $420m plant in the Middle Eastern country that will produce titanium sponge, the companies said on Wednesday.

The plant will have a 15,600 tonne/year capacity, TASNEE said in a statement.

“It is expected that the new facility will start to ramp up commercial production in Q2 2017 with completion in Q1 2018,” Cristal and TASNEE said in a separate joint statement.

A joint venture firm will be set up to undertake the project, in which Toho will have the biggest stake of 35%, while the two Saudi Arabian partners will each have a 32.5% stake.

The titanium sponge facility will be built in Yanbu Industrial City and will use Toho’s production technology.

The new plant will be adjacent to Cristal’s titanium dioxide (TiO2) plant “leveraging the integrated synergies and providing a stable supply of titanium tetrachloride, the primary raw material of titanium sponge”, Toho said in a statement.

Output from the plant will first be allocated for industrial application in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, such as desalination plants, power plants and chemical plants.

Cristal, which is 66%-owned by TASNEE, is the world's second-largest producer of TiO2 and a leading producer of titanium chemicals.

By: Pearl Bantillo
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