Under the terms of the licence, LyondellBasell will provide the technology for the plant, which will have a capacity of 525,000 tonnes a year (t/y), making it one of the largest facilities of its type anywhere in the world. Commissioning is set for 2012.

The contract is part of a larger project to free up the propane by converting it to propylene through a propane dehydrogenation unit. The propylene can then be used as feedstock to produce polypropylene (MEED 25:2:08).

Established in 1993 and commissioned in 1995, Ibn Rushd, a subsidiary of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), produces a range of products from ethylene glycol and butane feedstocks.

Products include aromatics such as xylene and benzene, purified terephthalic acid, polyester textile chips and bottle grade chips.

The complex is currently undergoing a major project to convert and de-bottleneck its existing polymer lines to increase chip capacity by 100,000 t/y to 300,000 t/y (MEED 20:7:07).