Saudi Arabia

Two Thai companies have signed agreements with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) for the delivery of around 600,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of urea, underlining the Asian country’s inability to develop its own fertiliser production capabilities. The one-year, renewable contracts were signed on 11 May withChia Tai Company, which will receive 350,000 t/y of granular urea and Thai Fertiliser Marketing Company (TFMC) is to take 240,000 t/y of granular and prilled urea.

‘These deals are a reflection that Thailand hasn’t been able to develop its own fertiliser base and is having to rely on imports,’ says Andrew Spiers, director of UK-based Chem Systems. ‘They have a number of projects, but haven’t been able to structure them in a way to attract suitable financing options.’

The contracts were signed during a visit to Bangkok by Sabic vice-chairman and managing director Mohammed Al-Mady, who said the agreements formalised the company’s long-standing relationship with customers in Thailand. The value of the contracts has not been disclosed.

Sources close to Sabic say the group is also considering taking a stake in a government-owned Thai aromatics venture. During a visit to Iran on 6-8 May, Al-Mady announced that Sabic was also exploring opportunities for joint ventures in petrochemicals there (MEED 19:5:00).