Paris-based Technip is to build a pilot acetic acid plant for Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic)in Yanbu. The plant will use new technology that Sabic has developed independently at its Research & Technology division in Riyadh (MEED 17:8:01).
The lump sum turnkey contract calls for the construction of a plant with a capacity of 30,000 tonnes a year (t/y) at the Arabian Industrial Fibers Company (Ibn Rushd)complex in Yanbu. It is scheduled to come on stream by mid 2004. Completion of the unit and fine-tuning of the oxidisation technology is expected to precede the construction of a 200,000-t/y plant. The acetic acid will be used as feedstock for Ibn Rushd's production of purified terephthalic acid, a component of polymers.
Technip won the contract against competition from the US' ABB Lummus Global and Japan's Mitsui Shipbuilding Company. The front-end engineering and design (FEED) was prepared by the UK's Kvaerner E&C.