Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) is a manufacturer of chemicals, fertilizers, plastics and metals. SABIC claims that it is the largest and most profitable non-oil company in the Middle East and one of the world’s top ten largest petrochemicals manufacturers.
It is a public company based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian government owns 70% of its shares, and the remaining 30% are held by private investors in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GPC) countries.
Download the The ICIS Top 100 Chemical Companies listing here
The origins of SABIC come from a decision made by Saudi Arabia in the 1970s to use the flared associated gases from its oil well heads to make value-added industrial commodities. In September 1976, SABIC was established to add value to Saudi Arabia's natural hydrocarbon resources.
The first SABIC joint venture plant came on-stream in 1983 followed in quick succession by several affiliates.
Please see Albemarle, SABIC form JV for Al-Jubail organometallic facility on ICIS news.
In August 2009, Saudi Basic Industries Corp signed a joint venture deal worth $1bn (€700m) with Mitsubishi Rayon. For more on this story please see SABIC, Mitsubishi Rayon sign $1bn joint venture project on ICIS news.
SABIC consists of the following strategic business units (SBUs): SABIC Innovative Plastics; Basic Chemicals; Intermediates; Polymers; Specialised Products; Fertilizers; and Metals. Meanwhile, it has four corporate departments consisting of corporate finance; corporate human resources; corporate control; and research and technology (R&T) that support the SBUs in their sectors.
SABIC Innovative Plastics
SABIC Innovative Plastics is a global manufacturer and distributor of plastics resins used in a number of key industries including automotive, computers, telecommunications, appliances, optical media, packaging, and building and construction.
It manufactures and compounds polycarbonate, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), styrene acrylonitrile copolymer (SAN), acrylonitrile-styrene-acrylate (ASA), polyphenylene ether (PPE), polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and polyetherimide (PEI) resins.
It also includes: Specialty Film & Sheet, a manufacturer of high-performance Lexan sheet and film products used in thousands of applications and industries from building and construction to signs to telecommunications; Automotive, a technical and materials solutions provider for body, engine compartment, component, structural and lighting needs; and Polymershapes, a distributor of plastic sheet, rod, tube and film.
The largest of SABIC’s strategic business units, Basic Chemicals accounts for around 40% of the company’s total production. Basic Chemicals are made from hydrocarbon feedstocks such as methane, ethane, propane and butane. They are basic to petrochemical production and manufacture a wide range of industrial and consumer goods.
Intermediates are chemicals that form part of the process for making other materials. SABIC’s intermediates are divided into three sections: one to produce chemical intermediates, another for fibre intermediates and a new business section.
Intermediates comprises of four main product segments: Fibre Intermediates, Industrial Gases, Chemical Intermediates and Linear Alpha Olefins. These are used in SABIC’s own industrial processes; as feedstock for the company’s affiliates; and for export to global markets.
SABIC has combined its polyolefins and polyvinyl chloride (PVC)/polyester SBUs to form SBU: Polymers. The unit produces two major polyolefin derivatives. SABIC claims that it is currently the world’s third largest producer of polyethylene and sixth largest in polypropylene and overall it is now the world’s fourth largest polyolefins producer, with the single most comprehensive portfolio of polymer resins of any producer-supplier.
SABIC’s Specialty Products SBU was set up to focus on developing, producing and marketing new high value special derivatives to key market sectors selected for their profit potential. These include specialist automotive, catalyst, oilfield and rubber chemicals, specialty polymers and polymer additives.
It works closely with SABIC Research and Technology to understand customers’ needs, and stay at the leading edge of application technology.
SABIC’s Fertilizers SBU consists of three departments: urea, ammonia/phosphates and operations and planning, along with three fertilizer affiliates: Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Company (Safco), Jubail Fertilizer Company (Al-Bayroni) and National Chemical Fertilizer Company (Ibn Al-Baytar).
The 2006 start-up of Safco IV, with an annual capacity of 1.1m tonnes/year of ammonia and 1.1m tonnes/year of granular urea, further consolidated its position as what it claims as being the world’s largest producer and exporter of granular urea.
The Saudi Iron and Steel Company (Hadeed) form the core of the SABIC Metals SBU, and is primarily engaged in the production of long steel and flat steel products. The SBU also manages SABIC’s stakes in two aluminium manufacturing companies in Bahrain: Aluminum Bahrain (Alba) and Gulf Aluminum Rolling Mill Company (Garmco) and the Sabayek Ferroalloy Smelter in Al-Jubail.
Ar-Razi (Saudi Methanol Co)A 50/50 joint venture between SABIC and a consortium of Japanese companies led by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical. It manufactures methanol at Al-Jubail.
Al-Bayroni (Jubail Fertilizer)A 50/50 joint venture between SABIC and Taiwan Fertilizer company. It manufactures ammonia, urea, and hexanol.
Sadaf (Saudi Petrochemical Co) A 50/50 SABIC joint venture with Pecten Arabian, a subsidiary of Shell Oil (USA). It produces ethylene, ethanol, styrene, caustic soda, ethylene dichloride and MTBE at Al-Jubail.
Ibn Sina (National Methanol Co)A joint venture owned by SABIC (50%), Hoechst-Celanese (25%) and Pan Energy (25%). It produces methanol and MTBE at Al-Jubail.
Yanpet (Saudi-Yanbu Petrochemical Co)This 50/50 joint venture with ExxonMobil (originally Mobil) produces ethylene, polyethylene and ethylene glycol at Yanbu.
Petrokemya (Arabian Petrochemical Co)A wholly owned affiliate of SABIC, Petrokemya produces ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, butene-1 and polyethylene at Al-Jubail.
United (Jubail United Petrochemical Co)United is wholly owned and produces ethylene, ethylene glycol and linear alpha olefins (LAOs).
Kemya (Al-Jubail Petrochemical Co)A 50/50 SABIC joint venture with ExxonMobil (originally Exxon) based at Al-Jubail. This polyethylene manufacturer also produces ethylene.
Sharq (Eastern Petrochemical Co)This joint venture is 50% owned by SABIC and 50% by a consortium of Japanese companies led by Mitsubishi Corp. It manufactures low density polyethylene (LDPE) and ethylene glycol at Al-Jubail.
Ibn Zahr (Saudi-European Petrochemical Co)This joint venture is owned by SABIC (70%), Neste Oy(10%), Ecofuel (10%) and Apicorp (10%). It produces MTBE and polypropylene at Al-Jubail.
Ibn Rushd (Arabian Industrial Fibers Co)This is a partnership between SABIC (51.7%) and 15 Saudi Arabian and regional private sector partners. Its complex at Yanbu produces aromatics, purified terephthalic acid and polyester products.
Safco (Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co)Ownership of this affiliate is split between SABIC (41%), Safco employees (10%) and private Saudi Arabian and Al-Jubail shareholders (49%). It produces ammonia, urea, sulphuric acid and melamine at Dammam and Al-Jubail.
Saudi Kayan (Saudi Kayan Petrochemical) SABIC (35%), Saudi Kayan (20%) and private shareholders (45%) manufactures ethylene, propylene, polypropylene, low density polyethylene (LDPE), high density polyethylene (HDPE), ethylene glycol, bisphenol A (BPA), acetone, polycarbonate, ethanolamines, dimethyl formamide (DMF), ethoxylates, chlorine and chloride.
Ibn Al-Baytar (Safco National Chemical Fertilizer Co)This 50/50 SABIC joint venture with Safco manufactures ammonia, granular urea and compound fertilisers at Al-Jubail.
Hadeed (Saudi Iron & Steel Co) A wholly-owned subsidiary of SABIC based in Al-Jubail. Hadeed produces steel products.
Gas (National Industrial Gases Co)An affiliate owned 70% by SABIC and 30% by a group of Saudi Arabian industrial gas producers. It produces oxygen, nitrogen and argon at Al-Jubail.
Tayf (Ibn Hayyan Plastic Products Co)Owners of this joint venture are SABIC affiliate Ibn Hayyan (57.17%), Saudi Industrial & Commercial Agencies Co (30.83%), Saudi Industrial Development Co (10%) and Saudi Ceramic Co (2%). It produces plastic boards, wall covering, artificial leather and book binding products at Al-Jubail.
Garmco (Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mill Co)Partners in Garmco are Kuwait (16.97%), Bahrain (38.36%), Iraq (4.12%), Oman (2.06%), Qatar (2.06%), Gulf Investment Corp (5.15%) and Saudi Arabia represented by SABIC (31.28%). Located in Bahrain, it produces aluminium sheet and can stocks.
GPIC (Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co)A joint venture with equal shares held by Petrochemical Industries Co of Kuwait, the state of Bahrain and SABIC. It produces methanol, ammonia and urea in Bahrain.
Alba (Aluminium Bahrain)Ownership is split between Bahrain (77%), Brenton Investments of Germany (3%) and the Saudi Public Investment Fund represented by SABIC (20%). Located in Bahrain, it produces aluminium in liquid metal, ingots, rolling slabs and billet form.
Yansab (Yanbu National petrochemical)SABIC (55%) private shareholders (35%) and other companies in the Gulf region (10%) manufactures ethylene, propylene, ethylene glycol, HDPE, polypropylene, butane-1 and butane-2, benzene, xylene, MTBE, toluene, and xylene mixture.
Back to company overview page
SABIC believes that it is the “most consistently profitable” public company in the Middle East. “By creating a corporate environment which inspires innovation and talent we have positioned SABIC as one of the world’s largest petrochemical businesses. A new business model and continued investment commitment in plant and equipment will ensure we will achieve our long-term goals,” says vice chairman and chief executive officer, Mohamed Al-Mady. (Edited from annual report and company website). ICIS also provides you with key financial data listed in table form.
More about Sabic Strategy & Financial Highlights
Get news on Sabic plus the latest chemical news, information, data, market movements and analysis
in one place with ICIS news
Find details on other chemical companies and suppliers with
ICIS offers a range of FREE e-newsletters to ensure that you don't miss out on the latest development and key market intelligence in your industry. If you want the latest news sent to your inbox, sign up for ICIS e-newsletters today.
Find out more about current and planned chemical plants and projects by subscribing to our comprehensive database
INSIGHT: EPA ‘waters’ rule pours more fuel on opposition fires
“This rule will result in far more significant economic impact and unintended consequences than the Obama administration is leading people to believe.
VIDEO: ICIS Special Report: Innovation is key to success