PMD says it has secured 20 per cent of equity in the project and will tie up the remaining equity in late 2002. It will apply for a Saudi Industrial Development Fund loan in early April and then move forward with pursuing commercial debt from banks. It will invite firms to prequalify for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract in May and aims to start construction in the second half of 2003. Commissioning is scheduled for the end of 2005.

The complex will comprise a 100,000 tonne-a-year (t/y) ethylene oxide unit, a 150,000-t/y ethanol oxide plant and a 50,000-t/y unit to make methylamine and related downstream products. PMD earlier this year signed agreements with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic)and Saudi Aramcofor the supply of feedstock and fuel for the reactors.