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Sabic plans new POM plant

Plastics and chemicals supplier Sabic (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) has signed an agreement with Celanese Corp., parent of plastics supplier Ticona, for the construction of a 50,000-ton/yr polyacetal (POM) production facility at Sabic affiliate National Methanol Co.'s complex in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia. Sabic owns half of National Methanol while Celanese and an affiliate of Duke Energy Corp. each hold a 25% stake in it. Total invested capital in the project is expected to be around $400 million.

The move is the most recent piece in Sabic's plan to increase its market presence beyond polyolefins to plastics further up the value chain. The supplier already has plans or has begun work on plants in the Kingdom for thermoplastic elastomers, carbon fibers, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), and more. In mid-2007 Sabic acquired then-GE Plastics and its portfolio of engineering thermoplastics, and has renamed the company as Sabic Innovative plastics. In 2003 it acquired Dutch supplier DSM's European polyolefins business to gain a foothold on that continent, and also acquired Huntsman's European commodity chemicals business.

The engineering and construction of the POM facility is expected to begin by 2011 with the plant planned to be on-stream by 2013, using methanol already being produced by National Methanol Co.

TAGS: Materials
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