Additional units under consideration at SPC include a new methanol plant and an acetic acid facility. SPC is a joint venture between the local National Petrochemical Industries Company (NPIC), which owns 75 per cent, and Europe’s Basell, which owns the remaining 25 per cent. Basell also acts as the main offtaker for the existing 450,000-tonne-a-year PP plant.

The PP unit is due to come on stream in early 2004 and will use propane feedstock provided by Saudi Aramco. The main contractor is a team of US-based ABB Lummus Globaland South Korea’s Samsung Engineering. ABB and Samsung are both involved in the installation of an almost identical plant in Jubail for another private firm, National Polypropylene Company (NPPC). This project is due to come on stream in 2007 (MEED 3:10:03).