Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) plans to move all of its planned $5bn Elastomer joint venture from Yanbu to Jubail in Saudi Arabia.

The initial plan for the project was to divide the facilities over two sites where Sabic has a joint venture with the US’ ExxonMobil Chemical.  

Now the Saudi Yanbu Petrochemical Company (Yanpet) in Yanbu will not be used as a location and the whole complex will be based at the Al-Jubail Petrochemical Company (Kemya) in Jubail instead.  

“Sabic has been in touch with contractors asking for revised prices on certain packages at Kemya that indicates that they are increasing the scope of work there,” a source tells MEED. “The number of storage tanks is increasing and the scope of the utilities is being increased.”

Another source tells MEED that a space restriction at the Yanpet complex has meant that it makes sense to move the whole operation to the Kemya site.

“Kemya has enough space for the project to proceed as planned whereas there are issues with land availability at Yanpet,” the source says. “Both sites are part of Sabic’s [ExxonMobil Chemical] joint venture, so it will not be a problem.”  

The source adds the tenders for the engineering, procurement and construction contracts will be sent out by the joint venture partners at the end of the first quarter of 2011.

The Elastomer project is a 50:50 joint venture between Sabic and ExxonMobil Chemical and the planned complex will produce around 400,000 tonnes-a-year (t/y) of carbon black, rubber and thermoplastic speciality polymers. The plant will use ExxonMobil technology and the products will be sold on local and international markets.  

Carbon black is derived from heavy petroleum products and is mostly used by the automotive industry to add strength to plastic and rubber products used in car production.