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SABIC Eyes Polyurethanes, More Polycarbonate

Saudi Basic Industries held the first official press conference at the K 2010 plastics show in Düsseldorf earlier today, and there, CEO Mohamed Al Mady disclosed his company‘s designs on getting into the polyurethanes industry.

Al Mady said that SABIC was in the process of „finalizing discussions with technolgy providers and systems houses“, presumably on a large integrated complex. When asked I asked him whether that would mean getting into the production of polyols, isocyanates, or both, he wouldn´t give a precise answer. „We are working to see how it fits with existing projects in the kingdom,“ he said, emphasizing access to aromatics, and therefore hinting at SABIC production of isocyanates. He also stressed that a possible project is only in the early stages of planning.

At the show, Al Mady also said that the company is still considering the construction of a polycarbonate plant in China. The company is in the final stages of negotiation with Sinopec and the plant would be an add on to its newly completed joint venture with Sinopec in Tianjin. The company is completing a polycarbonate joint venture in Saudi Arabia using licensed technology. It will use its own, former GE, technology for the Chinese plant. I dimly recall that General Electric was planning a polycarbonate plant in China with PetroChina and that SABIC nixed that plan when it purchased GE in 2007.

(Funny quotation marks due to German keyboard.)

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