Dow Chemical CEO Andrew N. Liveris had a visible role in President Donald J. Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia last weekend, and he brought with him a pledge for further specialty chemical investment in the country.
Dow said it will build an acrylic polymers plant at the PlasChem industrial park in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, to serve the coatings industry and water treatment and detergent markets. The company said the facility will cost more than $100 million and create 100 full-time jobs.
Dow, which last year took over its Dow Corning joint venture, also plans to conduct a feasibility study for a siloxanes and silicones plant in Saudi Arabia. If it moves forward, the plant will support 350 full-time jobs, Dow says.
The plant announcements were part of a series of agreements signed between U.S. firms and Saudi authorities at the Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum, held in Riyadh on May 20 and co-chaired by Liveris. Trump and King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud both attended.
At the forum, ExxonMobil Chemical and Saudi Basic Industries announced they will begin a detailed study of an ethylene cracker they recently agreed to build in San Patricio County, Texas. Most other accords were related to the oil and defense industries.
Liveris has been one of Trump’s most prominent backers from the business community. He has referred to the Trump presidency as “probably the most pro-business administration since the founding fathers” and has helped convene meetings between Trump and industrial leaders at the White House.
Dow is in the process of starting up the Sadara joint venture with oil giant Saudi Aramco. The $20 billion complex boasts 26 manufacturing units, including a new ethylene cracker.