Petrochemical Conversions Company (PCC) plans to open a $500m plant that will be the first in the Middle East to produce nylon 66 at Jubail in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

The plant, being built in the Jubail 2 area, will have a capacity of 50,000 tonnes-a-year and will be ready to begin commercial production by the end of 2013.

“Nylon 66 could replace a number of components in automobiles that currently use metals,” said Paul Aegerter from joint venture partner Chevron Phillips at the 2nd Saudi Downstream Conference. “It is challenging but there are some opportunities that should help the kingdom’s downstream strategy.”

Nylon 66 is used in a number of key sectors including the manufacture of automotive parts, tubing, rope, electrical components and cooking utensils.

The local Nesma and Partners Contracting Company are carrying out the construction at the scheme.

PCC is a 50:50 joint venture with Saudi Industrial Investment Group (SIIG) and the US’ Chevron Phillips.

The 2nd Saudi Downstream Conference runs 6-7 March at Jubail in the Eastern Province.