Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and ExxonMobil jointly announced on June 25 that they will construct a world-scale specialty elastomers facility at the Al-Jubail Petrochemical Company (Kemya) manufacturing joint venture.
The facility will be integrated with the existing Jubail, Saudi Arabia complex and is expected to be completed in 2015. The companies have approved the next stage of project development – engineering, procurement and construction (EPC).
According to their joint statement, the facility will have the capacity to produce up to 400,000 tons per year of rubber – including halobutyl, styrene butadiene, polybutadiene, and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubbers – thermoplastic specialty polymers, and carbon black to serve local, the Middle East and Asia markets. Kemya has awarded the EPC contract for the elastomers facility to Technip, Tecnicas Reunidas and Daelim.
Associated with the new Kemya elastomers facility is the establishment of the High Institute for Elastomer Industries (HIEI), a vocational training center in Yanbu; a product application center in Riyadh; and thermoplastic polyolefin compounding and inventory management facilities in Jubail. These facilities are aligned with Saudi Arabia’s national industrial clusters development program to expand and diversify its manufacturing sector. The HIEI will employ Saudis as instructors to deliver innovative polymer science education programs developed at the University of Akron Research Foundation, in Ohio, the US, to train Saudis for the Kingdom’s developing elastomers conversion industry.
Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO, says, “The Kemya elastomers facility demonstrates our commitment to build and champion a first-rate rubber industry in Saudi Arabia that supports job creation, develops downstream industries and helps diversify the national economy. The strategic partnership between SABIC and ExxonMobil provides the strength of industry-leading competitive assets, introduces new specialty products to the Kingdom and offers global marketing and supply capability of exceptional quality. We will provide the building blocks for our customers to successfully compete on a domestic and international scale in markets for a wide range of applications.”
“ExxonMobil is proud to be a leading foreign investor in, and customer of, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” says Steve Pryor, President of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “This first-of-its-kind elastomers facility in the Kingdom creates a platform that will support the development of a rubber industry, which is designed to produce a broad range of consumer products.”
Kemya is a 50-50 joint venture between SABIC and Exxon Chemical Arabia Inc, an affiliate of ExxonMobil Chemical Company.