SABIC plans to expand Ibn Rushd affiliate

SABIC to expand affiliate's PTA capacity to 700,000 tpy from current 350,000 tpy.
SABIC plans to expand Ibn Rushd affiliate
AFFILIATE EXPANSION: SABIC plans to expand its affiliate Ibn Rushd to raise its PTA capacity to 700,000 tonnes a year from its current 350,000 tonnes. (Getty Images)
By Reem Shamseddine
Sun 14 Feb 2010 09:43 PM

Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) plans to expand its affiliate Arabian Industrial Fibers Co (Ibn Rushd), its chief executive said on Sunday.

SABIC, the world's top chemical company by market value, holds 47.2 percent of Ibn Rushd, according to its 2008 annual report.

Ibn Rushd's complex in Yanbu, on Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast, produces aromatics, purified terephthalic acid (PTA), which is used in making polyester, and polyester staples.

After the expansion, Ibn Rushd's PTA capacity would rise to 700,000 tonnes per year (tpy) from 350,000 tpy currently, Chief Executive Mohamed al Mady said.

The expansion would also increase output capacity of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to 750,000 tpy from 330,000 tpy as well as boost aromatics capacity to 600,000 tpy from 350,000 tpy, he said.

Speaking to Reuters, Mady said: "We are doing this (expansion) to improve the economic basis of the project."

He added: "We are working on the engineering studies now…and we will go to the market (for bids) afterwards."

The engineering work is being handled by a number of firms as various technologies would be implemented.

State controlled SABIC plans to boost total production to 130 million tonnes of petrochemicals by 2020, up from 56 million tonnes in 2008. It is focusing now on growing its business in the kingdom, China and the Far East, Mady said in December.

SABIC benefits from access to cheap energy feedstock in the world's top oil exporter, giving it a competitive advantage over global rivals. (Reuters)

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