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Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) will license from Mitsui Chemicals technology for making the polyurethane raw materials toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI). SABIC plans to build isocyanates facilities in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia, by 2016. The two companies have further agreed to consider a strategic alliance in polyurethanes. SABIC lacks polyurethane manufacturing know-how, whereas Mitsui faces rising costs and a shrinking market in Japan. In the future, Mitsui hopes to supply most of its MDI and TDI needs from a lower cost base in Saudi Arabia. Currently the Japanese firm produces TDI in Japan and MDI in Japan and South Korea.
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