PIC/Dow confirm pets ambitions

09 May 2003
The local Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC)and the US' Dow Chemical Companyconfirmed on 7 May plans to build new ethylene and ethylene derivative capacity at Shuaiba. The announcement, the first official confirmation by the two parties, came three months after the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding to build additional olefins capacity at the existing Equate Petrochemical Companysite and an ethyl benzene/styrene unit nearby (MEED 7:2:03).

The new olefins capacity will be fully integrated into the Equate I plant. Under Equate II, an 850,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) ethane cracker will be built alongside a 600,000-t/y ethylene glycol/ethylene oxide unit, based on proprietary Meteor technology from the US' Union Carbide Company Corporation (UCC), the wholly-owned Dow subsidiary. In addition, at least 400,000 t/y of new polyethylene (PE) capacity, using UCC's Unipol technology, will be brought on stream.

Besides supplying feedstock to the new PE capacity, the new cracker will deliver ethylene to a 300,000-t/y ethyl benzene/styrene unit to be built by PIC and Dow. The benzene will be sourced from the new aromatics complex, which is planned by PIC for individual development.

The shareholding structure on the new units is expected to be similar to Equate I, where PIC and UCC each hold a 45 per cent stake and the local Boubiyan Petrochemical Companyholds 10 per cent. Commissioning of the new capacity is scheduled for early 2007.

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