Arlanxeo to build butadiene rubber plant in Saudi Arabia
Scheduled for operation in 2027, facility to manufacture NdBR and LiBR...
The Hague, The Netherlands – Arlanxeo has announced plans to build a 140 kilotonne-per-annum (ktpa) synthetic rubber production plant in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.
The facility will produce neodymium-catalysed ultra-high cis-polybutadiene rubber (NdBR) as well as lithium butadiene rubber (LiBR), the company said 23 May.
Fully owned by Arlanxeo, the unit will be built at the Amiral complex – a €10-billion petrochemicals project, launched last December by Saudi Aramco and Total Energies.
Scheduled for commercial start-up in 2027, the Amiral complex will be integrated with the petchem partners' existing Satorp refinery in Jubail on Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast.
The NdBR/LiBR plant will source butadiene feedstock from Satorp, explained Olivier Thorel, chairman of Arlanxeo’s shareholders’ committee and SVP chemicals at Saudi Aramco.
Underlining Arlanxeo’s “drive to grow in a competitive market,” Thorel said the project would tap into its "expertise in developing, producing and marketing" synthetic rubbers.
The investment is part Arlanxeo’s growth plan and would “reinforce” the company’s position in markets for high-performance synthetic rubbers, added Donald Chen, CEO of Arlanxeo.
Engineering, procurement, and construction contracts for the synthetic rubber project are scheduled to be awarded in the second half of 2023.
Construction work is expected to commence in 2024, followed by the start-up of commercial operations in 2027, according to the Arlanxeo announcement.
NdBR, it noted, is largely used in tires treads for enhanced fuel-economy, grip and wear, while LiBR is typically used as an impact-modifier in plastics packaging and appliances.