SABIC opens first Pom plant in Middle East as part of growth strategy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SABIC has inaugurated the first ever polyacetal (POM) plant in the Middle East and Africa region at its joint venture manufacturing affiliate, The National Methanol Company (Ibn Sina), in Jubail, marking another milestone in its growth strategy in the highly competitive global engineering thermoplastics industry, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The new plant, with a capacity of 50,000 metric tons, was opened with a ceremony in the presence of SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO, Yousef Al-Benyan, SABIC executives and representatives from the joint venture partner, CTE, which is jointly owned by Celanese Corporation and Duke Energy. The new plant reflects SABIC’s 2025 strategy to provide new polymer solutions that answer customer challenges for changing market requirements, while supporting the development of local content in national industries, in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.

Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh, Executive Vice President of Petrochemicals at SABIC, commented, "The startup of the plant reflects our strategic commitment to diversify our solutions. We seek to create long-term value for our customers in a range of industries, including automotive, building and construction, consumer goods, appliances and lighting. This is how we create Chemistry that Matters."

Marcel van Amerongen, Vice President, Celanese added, "Ibn Sina is a fine example of successful collaboration between two large industrial companies by combining knowledge and a strong commitment. The new plant is expected to make a long-term contribution to the local economy and support the growth of the plastics industry."

Polyacetal is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic material that has the potential to replace metal in many applications due to its high strength, exceptional dimensional stability and ease of machining. It makes an excellent candidate for applications in diverse industries such as automotive, construction, electronics, appliances, commodities, and consumer goods.

As MRC informed previously, in September 2017, SABIC continued its global expansion with the inauguration of a new polypropylene (PP) pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, and the announcement of a new investment in a state-of-the-art PP extrusion facility to be built at the same location.

SABIC ranks among the worldпїЅs top petrochemical companies, and is among the world's market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene, advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers. SABIC manufactures on a global scale in Saudi Arabia, the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. The company operates in more than 50 countries across the world with 40,000 employees worldwide.

DowDuPont plans USD100 million expansion at Texas facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chemical maker DowDuPont Inc. is planning to spend approximately USD100 million over the next two years to expand production of specialty plastic materials at its site in Orange, Texas, as per Canplastics.

According to a DowDuPont statement, the investments will incrementally expand production capacity to support global growth of specialty materials manufactured at the site, specifically the Surlyn, Nucrel, Fusabond and Vamac product lines. Additionally, DowDuPont is evaluating longer-term plans to invest in a new facility to further support market growth.

The joint investment will support customer growth of both the packaging and specialty plastics business of DowDuPont’s materials science division, as well as the transportation and advanced polymers business of its specialty products division.

The added capacity is expected to come online in several phases starting in 2020 and will enable both divisions to meet growing demand for Surlyn, Nucrel, Fusabond and Vamac specialty materials used for applications in food packaging, transportation, and consumer goods. "With this increased capacity, we will be able to support growth in the automotive space at a time when customer demand for our advanced polymers is very strong,” said Randy Stone, business president for DuPont transportation and advanced polymers. “This investment will enable us to continue to deliver innovative solutions that serve high-growth end markets and reinforces our commitment to enhancing our leadership position in these key market segments."

DowDuPont was formed in 2016 from the merger of plastics and chemicals companies Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co.


WorleyParsons acquires M+W Group in the German chemicals sector

MOSCOW (MRC) -- WorleyParsons announced the completion of the strategic acquisition of the Ludwigshafen and Schwarzheide offices of the M+W Group in Germany, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The business acquired provides engineering services supporting the world scale facilities of the chemical companies in the Ludwigshafen and Schwarzheide areas. These services include feasibility studies and concept development, engineering, project and construction management.

WorleyParsons’ current operations in Ludwigshafen and the newly acquired offices will be combined into a single business. Approximately 50 staff are employed in the acquired offices. The acquisition will be funded using existing funds.

"The acquisition of the chemicals business represents another step in WorleyParsons’ strategic growth objective of establishing a strong presence in the European chemicals sector" said Andrew Wood, Chief Executive Officer of WorleyParsons.

As MRC informed before, in late May 2017, WorleyParsons announced that it had been awarded a 5-yr Framework Agreement by Shell Global Solutions International, B.V., for the provision of engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services for Shell downstream projects worldwide.

Turkeys Elif expands packaging line

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Istanbul-based Elif Packaging is making a "significant investment" into expanding its production of pre-made bag and pouch lines, as per Plasticsnewseurope.

The flexible packaging supplier said the expansion would increase production by 50% and will enable it to provide advanced products and new features for customers.

The company did not comment on the size of the investment and current production capacity.

The project will add capacity for the manufacture of stand-up pouches, quad seal bags, and the flat bottom bag products. A new stand-up pouch machine line will also be installed.

As part of its sustainability campaign, Elif also said that it had successfully completed the tests of its recyclable PE pre-made bag solution, on which it has been conducting research since 2016.

Saudi Aramco and Total Sign a Memorandum of Understanding to Build a Giant Petrochemical Complex

MOSCOW (MRC) -- During the official visit to Paris by Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, HRH Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Aramco and Total signed a memorandum of understanding to build a giant petrochemical complex in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, as per the company's press release.

The complex will be integrated downstream of the SATORP refinery, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco (62,5%) and Total (37,5%) in Jubail, in a move designed to fully exploit operational synergies. This world-class refinery, whose capacity increased from 400,000-barrel-per-day at its start-up in 2014 to 440,000-barrel-per-day today, is recognized as being one of the most efficient in the world.

Located next to the SATORP refinery in the same industrial area, the complex will comprise a world-size mixed-feed steam cracker (50% ethane and refinery off-gas) with a capacity of 1.5 million tons per year of ethylene and related high-added-value petrochemical units. The two partners are planning to start the front-end engineering and design (FEED) in the third quarter of 2018.

The cracker will feed other petrochemical and specialty chemical plants representing an overall amount of USD4 billion investment by third party investors.

In total, USD9 billion will be invested, creating 8,000 local direct and indirect jobs. The project will produce more than 2.7 million metric tons of high value chemicals.

"The agreement deepens the exemplary relationship enjoyed by our two companies over many decades. It is one that has evolved from a standard buyer-seller arrangement to one imbued with common interests to further develop and diversify our businesses,“ commented Amin H. Nasser, President and Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Aramco. “Our joint venture SATORP is a remarkably successful model of industry partnership and we are keen to build on this success to further underpin Saudi Aramco’s strategy to expand its capacity in the chemicals sector by 2030."

"This project illustrates our strategy of maximizing the integration of our large refining and petrochemical platforms and of expanding our petrochemical operations from low-cost feedstock, to take advantage of the fast growing Asian polymer market," commented Patrick Pouyanne, Chairman and CEO of Total. “Furthermore, this project will enable us to strengthen our ties with Saudi Aramco, with whom we successfully operate our biggest and most efficient refinery in the world. Finally, it will contribute to the Vision 2030 of the Kingdom by creating 8,000 jobs and bringing in new high-added-value technologies."