The fifth-phase expansion of the Ar-Razi methanol complex at Jubail has come onstream, making the it the world’s largest chemical methanol production facility.
The $600m plant, built by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, will add 1.7 million tonnes a year (t/y) of capacity at the complex, bringing its total output to 4.7 million t/y (MEED 10:6:05).
Set-up in 1979, Ar-Razi is a 50:50 joint venture between Saudi Methanol Company, a consortium of major Japanese companies led by Mitsubishi Chemical Gas Company, and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), which is now the world’s second largest methanol producer.
Methanol, which is most often derived from methane, is commonly used as a feedstock to produce other chemicals such as formaldehyde.
Several Sabic projects are due to be commissioned over the next 12 months. Other complexes include the Eastern Petrochemical Company (Sharq) olefins scheme in Jubail and the Yanbu Petrochemicals Company (Yansab) complex at Yanbu.