Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) has taken the minority stake in a major petrochemicals project in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region after Thailand-based Indorama Ventures pulled out of the joint venture, according to several sources in the UAE petrochemicals sector.

Indorama announced at the end of 2013 that it had taken a 49 per cent stake in a joint venture with Abu Dhabi National Chemicals Company (Chemaweyaat) to build a $1bn-plus aromatics plant near Ruwais.

However, Indorama exited the joint venture in 2014, a spokesman from the Bangkok-listed company said without giving a reason for the move.

Adnoc was already a stakeholder in the project, as Chemaweyaat itself is a joint venture of Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic), Abu Dhabi Investment Council and Adnoc. But sources told MEED that Adnoc has also taken over the interest formerly held by Indorama.

No spokespeople from Chemaweyaat or Adnoc were available to comment on the development.

It is unclear whether the new entity will continue with the name given to the original joint venture formed in December 2013 – Abu Dhabi Chemicals Integration Company (Tacaamol)

Chemaweyaat plans to build a plant with the capacity to produce 1.4 million tonnes a year (t/y) of paraxylene and 500,000 t/y of benzene. The complex will utilise naphtha feedstock produced at the nearby refinery operated by Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (Takreer).

The project will be located at the Madeenat Chemaweyaat al-Gharbia (MCAG) site, east of the Ruwais refining and petrochemicals complex, along with supporting infrastructure including a dedicated export tank farm, jetty and loading births.

On 25 October 2015, Chemaweyaat received commercial engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bids from several international companies for the aromatics plant. On the same date, companies submitted bids for the offsites and utilities (O&U) package that is designed to support the aromatics complex and future petrochemicals plants to be built at the site.

Companies submitting bids for the aromatics package include:

Companies submitting bids for the O&U package include:

  • GS Engineering & Construction
  • Hyundai Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Petrofac (UK)
  • Samsung Engineering

The aromatics complex was planned as part of a larger $11bn complex including polyolefins, polystyrene, polycarbonate plants and several other plants. 

All bidders have been asked by the owner to extend the validity of their bids. Chemaweyaat plans to award the aromatics complex first before proceeding with the O&U package, according to one source.

However, as with many oil and gas projects in the GCC, there are question marks over whether the scheme will move ahead amid uncertainty over prices and the impact on government revenues.

The long-delayed scheme first looked to be back on track in 2012, when Chemaweyaat appointed US-based Foster Wheeler (now Amec Foster Wheeler) as the project management consultant for the front-end engineering and design (feed) phase.

In September 2013, MEED revealed that the feed work for the project had been awarded to US engineering group CH2M Hill.

Chemaweyaat was established in 2008 to complement Abu Dhabi’s existing petrochemicals producers Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge), Ruwais Fertilizer Industries (Fertil) – both Adnoc-led joint ventures.