Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) and the Saudi International Petrochemical Co. (Sipchem) will convert existing surplus production capacities into new petrochemical products, including acrylic, carbon fiber, and polyacetal with an investment of 12 billion riyals ($3.2 billion). The plan includes seven plants for the production of methyl methacrylate (MMA), with 250,000 tons of capacity; 30,000 tons of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA); 200,000 tons of acrylonitrile; 50,000 tons of polyacrylonitrile; 50,000 tons of polyacetyl resins; 3000 tons of carbon fiber; and 40,000 tons of sodium cyanide capacity. In addition, Sipchem will spend an estimated 3 billion riyals ($810 million) to build two plants for the production of 125,000 tons of polyvinyl acetate and 200,000 tons of ethylene vinyl acetate annually.
The plants are expected to go online by mid-2013, with Sabic cracking feedstock allocated to Sipchem. Sipchem will supply carbon monoxide to Sabic for the production of MMA. Sabic and Sipchem will also establish specialized R&D centers to develop product applications for the petrochemicals sector, targeting local industries in the areas of automotive parts, electrical appliances, household commodities, health care, and computers and electronic equipment. —[email protected]