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Sabic to invest in methanol plant in Russian Far East

October 16/2019

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sabic (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) has signed a preliminary agreement with the state-controlled Russian Direct Investment Fund and Moscow-based ESN Group for a potential investment in a methanol plant in the Russian Far East, as the Middle Easts biggest petrochemicals producer looks to expand its international footprint, reported Kemicalinfo.

The agreement, part of a broad range of pacts signed during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Saudi Arabia on Monday, will explore the option to build and operate a methanol plant with a capacity of a 2 million tonnes per annum in Russias Amur region.
Yousef Al-Benyan, SABIC vice chairman and CEO, commented: "This is an important milestone in our global growth strategy. Russia is important to our global expansion plans, which have been formulated around competitive feedstock and our capacity to innovate and plan strategically. We plan to maintain our strategic partnership with the Russian market by continuing to focus on meeting customer needs, increasing our key customer base, and growing our commercial operation, in addition to enhancing our presence in the Russian market and maintain our leading position as a key methanol supplier."

In January, Sabic signed a preliminary agreement with South Louisiana Methanol to explore the possibility of developing a chemicals plant in the US to profit from the surging North American shale gas production.
It also increased its stake in Arrazi Methanol Company after purchasing Japan Saudi Arabia Methanol Companys 50 per cent interest for USD150 million in December.

Investment in the downstream segment of the energy value chain has become a priority for Middle East oil producers, as they hope to earn revenues from the sale of higher value products.

As MRC wrote before, SABIC took off-stream its SABIC Olefins 4 cracker owing to technical issues on May 10, 2019. Further details on duration of the shutdown could not be ascertained. Located in beek, the Netherlands, the cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 690,000 mt/year and a propylene production capacity of 360,000 mt/year.

Besides, in the first week of September 2019, SABIC Europe, an affiliate of SABIC, started maintenance work at its cracker No.3 at Geleen site in the Netherlands. The planned maintenance is slated to last around 2 months. The company operates two steam crackers in Geleen which are capable of producing 1,250,000 tons/year of ethylene and 675,000 tons/year of propylene in total.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polyprolypele (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,436,390 tonnes in the first eight months of 2019, up by 9% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. At the same time, the PP consumption in the Russian market was 909,260 tonnes in January-August 2019, up by 10% year on year. Shipments of PP block copolymer and homopolymer PP increased.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies. The company is among the world�s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, PP block copolymer, homopolymer PP, propylene, ethylene, gas processing, petrochemistry, Sabic, Netherlands, Russia.
Category:General News
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