By Prema Viswanathan
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Saudi Arabia’s National Petrochemical Industrial Co (NatPet) expects to start up its propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and polypropylene (PP) plants at Yanbu in April or May 2008, a company source said on Tuesday.
Commercial production would begin shortly after the start-up, the source added.
"The PP plant has already been commissioned and tested with propylene purchased from a third party," the source said.
The PDH plant, which would provide propylene feedstock to the PP plant, was currently in the process of pre-commissioning and commissioning, he added. The PDH and PP plants would each have a capacity of 400,000 tonnes/year.
"On 16 March, the company received propane gas feedstock for the PDH unit from Saudi Aramco," the source said.
The complex was originally scheduled to go on stream in December 2007 or January 2008, but was deferred due to a "">construction delay.
The PP plant would use Basell’s Spheripol technology, while UOP’s Oleflex technology would be used for propylene production.
The PP plant will produce copolymers in addition to homopolymers.
"The company received gas for its fuel requirements from Saudi Aramco in November 2007," the source said.
The complex’s requirement for utilities such as water, sea water for cooling and electricity, have also been met, he added
The primary investors in the NatPet joint stock company are Saudi Arabia's Alujain Corp and Xenel Group, while Noble Resources, a global supply chain manager of polymer resins, is also an investor in the project.