Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) and the US’ ExxonMobil have appointed the UK’s HSBC as adviser on the pair’s planned $5bn elastomers project at Jubail.

Several international banks pitched for the mandate in late November. HSBC was appointed about two weeks later. It is understood that no local banks received the request for proposals seeking a financial adviser. Banks are expected to be approached to fund the project in late 2012, according to bankers who held meetings with the two project sponsors.

The project will be developed by Kemya, a 50:50 joint venture company of the two sponsors that already has a petrochemicals plant at Jubail. The new elastomers project will produce more than 400,000 tonnes of rubber, thermoplastic speciality polymer and carbon black.

Front-end engineering and design (feed) contracts for the project have already been awarded to US-based Jacobs Engineering, Japan’s Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding and US-based Fluor.

Several mutlibillion-dollar projects are expected to start seeking project finance in 2012, including the $20bn Sadara petrochemicals project, a joint venture of Saudi Aramco and the US Dow Chemical and the $10bn PetroRabigh phase two joint venture of Aramco and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical.