Issue Date: June 4, 2012
Big Saudi Project Advances
Sumitomo Chemical and Saudi Aramco are moving forward with Rabigh II, a $7 billion petrochemical joint venture in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia. Having completed a feasibility study, the firms say they are ready to award construction contracts for the project, which is expected to be completed in 2016. The centerpiece will be an expansion of the venture’s ethylene cracker to process an additional 30 million cu ft of ethane per day and 3 million metric tons of naphtha per year. The venture will also construct new plants to make ethylene propylene diene rubber, thermoplastic polyolefins, low-density polyethylene, methyl methacrylate, polymethyl methacrylate, p-xylene, benzene, cumene, phenol, and acetone. The companies may work with other partners to build acrylic acid, superabsorbent polymer (SAP), caprolactam, nylon 6, and polyols plants. The firms first unveiled Rabigh II in 2009, just as they were starting up their original $8.5 billion Petro Rabigh joint venture. They originally expected to have the feasibility study completed in 2010. At the time, the partners expected to build the acrylic acid, SAP, caprolactam, nylon 6, and polyols plants on their own. Aramco also has a $20 billion Saudi petrochemical joint venture with Dow Chemical, called Sadara, which is slated for completion in 2015.
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