Sabic to team up with Aramco for cracker project

07 November 2003
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic)plans to build new crackers in Yanbu and Jubail, the latter in partnership with Saudi Aramco, Sabic chief executive Mohammed al-Mady told MEED in Riyadh on 5 November. The mixed-feedstock crackers form a key element in Sabic's programme to raise production capacity to 48 million tonnes a year (t/y) by 2010.

'We plan a new cracker in Yanbu and we are in the final stages of discussions with Saudi Aramco for another cracker to be located in Jubail,' Al-Mady said. He added that feedstock agreements with Aramco have already been secured for the Yanbu project, which will be a '100 per cent Sabic project'. However, the project is still in its early stages. 'We have not even started the design yet,' he said.

A second cracker will be built in Jubail in partnership with Aramco. Both units will have capacities exceeding 1 million t/y and will handle different feedstock input. 'Cracking ethane along with other products gives us more breadth for ethane utilisation and it will prolong the growth period for ethane,' says Al-Mady.

Sabic is also understood to be in talks with Aramco for the estimated $3,000 million refinery upgrade and petrochemicals complex scheme at Rabigh. The project will entail the construction of an ethane cracker with capacity to produce at least 1 million t/y of ethylene (MEED 12:9:03).

Sabic recently posted net profits of $4,755 million ($1,268 million) for the first nine months of the year, a year-on-year increase of 133 per cent. In 2002, the company produced 39 million t/y of product. Sabic aims to increase production to 48 million t/y by 2010, a figure that is likely to be exceeded, according to Al-Mady (see Petrochemicals Special Report, pages 29-42).

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