Saudi Arabian plastics producer Ibn Hayyan Plastic Products Company (Tayf) and the Netherlands’ Albermarle Corporation plan to build the Gulf’s first catalyst production plant at Jubail, according to a statement issued by Tayf on 28 October.

The firms have formed a 50:50 joint venture company, Saudi Organometallic Chemicals, to develop the scheme. It will cost an estimated SR300m ($80m).

Construction of the plant will begin before the end of 2009 and will be operating by 2012, according to Tayf. It is an affiliate of Saudi petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic).

It will produce 6,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of tri-ethyl aluminimum, which is used as a catalyst in the production of basic plastics. It will be the first plant of its kind in the region.