ERJ staff report (LMH)
Al-Jubail - Saudi Arabia Basic Industries (SABIC) and ExxonMobil said in a 16 May statement that Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) contracts had been awarded for the proposed new elastomers project at their Al-Jubail Petrochemical Co. KEMYA joint-venture petrochemical plant.
The companies also announced that a long-term technology agreement had been signed with Continental Carbon Co. in relation to the construction and operation of a new greenfield carbon black plant at the KEMYA complex.
Under the terms of the agreement with Continental Carbon, the Houston, Texas-headquartered company will market part of the production to the local and international tyre industry.
FEED contracts were awarded to Jacobs Engineering Inc. and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding for process units and to Fluor Transworld Services Inc. for associated support facilities, SABIC said.
"This elastomers project will be the basis for the creation of a world-class rubber value chain in Saudi Arabia and a valuable extension of our offering of products and services to our customers in key markets," said Koos van Haasteren, SABIC executive vice president, Performance Chemicals.
As well as supporting local industry, the expansion of the plant in Al-Jubail is to provide additional new capacity of butyl rubber and EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer).
The project is expected to establish a domestic supply of more than 400 000 tonnes of rubber [butyl, styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), butadiene rubber (BR) and EPDM], thermoplastic speciality polymers and carbon black to serve emerging local and international markets in Asia and the Middle East.
The project also includes the establishment of a vocational training center and product application development and support center, aligned with Saudi Arabia's National Industrial Clusters Development Program to grow and diversify the manufacturing sector in Saudi Arabia.
The final decision to implement both the elastomers and the carbon black project requires the approval of KEMYA's Board of Directors.
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Press release #1 from SABIC
Press release #2 from SABIC