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Security concerns notwithstanding, two more petrochemical projects are to be set up in the Saudi industrial township of Jubail in 2006 and 2007 respectively with technical collaboration from Germany and Japan.
The first project is a joint venture between Jubail United Petrochemical Company, a subsidiary of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), and Linde of Germany to build a linear alpha olefins plant. The contract is worth US$200mn.
This is the first sabline linear alpha olefins plant contract awarded to Linde by Sabic. It will be a turnkey contract for the engineering, procurement and construction of the plant.
The facility will be the first of its kind using the alpha sabline technology jointly developed by Sabic and Linde.
The facility will be constructed at Jubail Industrial City on the United Petrochemical Company site and is scheduled for completion by the third quarter of 2006. The plant capacity will be 150,000 metric tons of linear.
In response to the rising global demand for polymers, plasticisers, lubricants and detergents, Sabic has developed groundbreaking new process technology for the competitive production of linear alpha olefins. Therefore Sabic sees itself as strongly positioned to take advantage of this demand and to become a key supplier of linear alpha olefins to markets in the Middle East and around the world.
There are more than 200 facilities worldwide that produce olefins or ethylenes. About 20% of these facilities were set up by Linde. The so-called alpha-sabline process will be used for the first time.
The second project involving JGC Corporation of Japan and its subsidiary, JGC Arabia, will be owned and operated by Jubail Chevron Phillips Company (JCP). The contract covers the engineering, procurement, and construction for an integrated styrene facility in Jubail.
When completed in 2007, the styrene facility will be used to produce a wide variety of polymers with diverse end uses that include packaging, automotive applications, electronic parts, rubber articles, paper, tires, luggage, construction materials, carpeting, and toys.
The industrial townships of Jubail and Yanbu, home to the biggest petrochemical projects of Sabic, remain under a state of heightened security following this year’s terrorist attacks in the kingdom that targeted strategic petrochemical locations.
According to A Pampanini, author of a forthcoming book on Jubail and Yanbu, the two townships together account for around 7% of the kingdom’s GDP.