A joint venture of Arabian Chevron Phillips Petrochemical Co. and The Saudi Industrial Investment Group is on track to start up the Middle East's first nylon 66 plant in late 2013. Petrochemical Conversion Company Ltd. (PCC) recently announced the successful transport of four process modules to the Port of Jubail in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the company's new 50,000-tonnes/year plant under construction in Jubail II Industrial City.
Also scheduled to start up production later this year is a 20,000 tonnes/year polyamide compounding plant and a plastic processing complex with overall capacity for 120,000 tonnes/year of products such as auto parts, electrical fittings, HDPE pipe, and drip irrigation systems.
The process modules, constructed offshore then transported to Saudi Arabia, weigh nearly 3,000 tonnes. The two largest modules have been transported to PCC's project site, with the remaining modules delivered to the site by mid-April. "Building the equipment in modules significantly accelerated project execution," says Paul Aegerter, PCC's general venture manager. "We will now focus on successfully installing the equipment safely and commencing commercial operation."
The "conversion project" is targeting value addition within Saudi Arabia rather than straight export of resins and compounds. Products to be processed include caps and closures (20,000 tonnes/yr), small auto parts (4,000 tonnes/yr), under the hood auto parts (15,000 tonnes/yr), electrical fittings (10 ,000 tonnes/yr), HDPE Pipe (30 ,000 tonnes/yr), drip irrigation products (30 ,000 tonnes/yr), pharmaceutical packaging (5 ,000 tonnes/yr), medical disposables (4,000 tonnes/yr), and caps and closures (20,000 tonnes/yr).
PCC is anticipating strong growth in Saudi Arabia for the plastic products it will manufacture. It anticipates the high performance HDPE pipe market, for example, to grow at around 11% per annum, while the drip irrigation system market is forecast for ca.5% annual growth. Caps and closures, meanwhile, are expected to grow at approximately 7%/year, pharmaceutical packaging around 8%/year, and medical disposables 9%/year. PCC expects 4%/year growth for the electrical fittings market, and 6%/year growth for the automotive aftermarket.