By Malini Hariharan

Nearly two years after SABIC and ExxonMobil signed an agreement for a multi-billion dollar 50:50 joint-venture elastomers complex iin Saudi Arabia, the two majors have yet to take a final decision on the project.

At last year’s GPCA forum in December, Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC’s CEO, had indicated that the two companies were waiting approval from their respective management boards while work was on with contractors for detailed engineering and cost estimation.

And there has not been much progress since then.


Pic source: www.

Talking to reporters on Sunday after announcing the company’s results for the third quarter, Al-Mady confirmed that a final decision has yet to be taken.

“We are moving to the detailed feasibility study … we have not reached final decision … (It is expected) some time early next year,” he said.

The blog has already written about weak economics for derivative projects in the Middle East. Could this be a reason for the hesitation on part of the two majors to quickly implement this project?

Another downstream project being pursued independently by SABIC’s fully owned affiliate Petrokemya is also moving slowly.

Following SABIC’s acquisition of GE Plastics, Petrokemya had revealed in early 2008 plans for the Kingdom’s first acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plant with a capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year.

Al-Mady said on Sunday that the project has not been cancelled. But it appears that the capacity of the project is being reviewed.

Meanwhile, Ibn Rushd, another Sabic affiliate, is expected to finalise bids for expansion of capacities for purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

Progress may be slow but with gas in short supply SABIC has no alternative but to persist in its efforts move downstream and this was confirmed by Al-Mady.

“We have to be realistic. The investment cycle takes time to find the gas … SABIC is a global company we cannot wait for the gas to come we have to do business either in downstream, in innovation … until the gas is available.”


No Going Back, But Don't Expect Smooth Ride


Cloth nappies?….you have to be kidding       Source of pict...

Learn more

More LPG For Petrochemicals - Eventually!


By John Richardson In theory there should be an additional 20-30m tonne/year of ...

Learn more
More posts
Coronavirus, reshoring and the polyester industry: Good luck with that

By John Richardson POLITICIANS, not just including the Populist variety, are talking a lot about res...

Beware of the fragile nature of the oil and petrochemical price recovery

By John Richardson RECENT rises in oil and petrochemicals prices should not in my view be taken as a...

China petrochemical inventories build on what could be false hopes of a V-shaped rebound

By John Richardson AS PETROCHEMICALS storage space in China fills up on the hope that the country ca...

Further polyethylene rate cuts seem inevitable with no certainty on who will blink first

By John Richardson IT IS NOT just a razor-like focus on petrochemicals demand that will get you thro...

What petrochemical companies must do to adapt to a smaller coronavirus economy

By John Richardson PETROCHEMICAL companies can adapt to the coronavirus New Normal by running their ...

Coronavirus and the way forward: Forecasting micro surges in petrochemicals demand

By John Richardson THE MONTH of May is normally a low season for toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) demand ...

Southeast Asia polyolefins demand may fall by as much as during Asian Financial Crisis

By John Richardson HOW do you replace anywhere between 9% and 18% of GDP when it has virtually disap...

Why Asia may win and the US lose in post-virus petchems investment world

As always, these are my personal views and don’t reflect the views of ICIS By John Richardson ...


Market Intelligence

ICIS provides market intelligence that help businesses in the energy, petrochemical and fertilizer industries.

Learn more


Across the globe, ICIS consultants provide detailed analysis and forecasting for the petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets.

Learn more

Specialist Services

Find out more about how our specialist consulting services, events, conferences and training courses can help your teams.

Learn more

ICIS Insight

From our news service to our thought-leadership content, ICIS experts bring you the latest news and insight, when you need it.

Learn more