Sahara Petrochemicals reported a net profit of SR205m for 2012, down 50 per cent on SR412m in 2011. The company attributed the drop in profit to decreases in product prices and lower sales volumes following a scheduled maintenance shutdown at the Al-Waha plant during the second and third quarters of the year.
Al-Waha Petrochemicals, along with SEPC, is the main revenue generator for Sahara Petrochemicals so any drop in production has a profound impact on financial performance. Income picked up strongly in the final quarter of 2012, following the restart of the plant. Net profits for the fourth quarter were SR64.49m, up more than 1,100 per cent, compared with SR5.01m seen at the end of 2011 as a result of higher sales volumes.
Sahara Petrochemicals’ sales volumes should see a further boost this year, with the start of commercial production at three of its affiliated facilities. The first is Samapco, which is expected to start production before the end of March at Jubail Industrial City.
In June, TSOC will bring online the 160,000-t/y butyl-acrylate plant at Jubail and this will be followed by the 80,000-t/y super absorbent polymer plant by Saudi Arcylic Polymers Company, a joint venture of SAAC and Germany’s Evonik. This diversified product mix will help Sahara balance future risks from operations and feedstock price rises.