Mitsui, Sipchem plan Jubail petchem plant

Mitsui & Co. is considering a joint venture with Saudi International Petrochemical Co. (Sipchem) to construct a petrochemicals plant in Jubail, on the east coast of Saudi Arabia.

Feb 8th, 2007

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 8 -- Mitsui & Co. is considering a joint venture with Saudi International Petrochemical Co. (Sipchem) to construct a petrochemicals plant in Jubail, on the east coast of Saudi Arabia.

With an estimated cost of $7-8 billion, the 1-1.3 million tonne/year plant would use natural gas produced by Saudi Aramco to manufacture ethylene and basic materials for plastics in 2011.

Reports say the Saudi facility is designed to produce 18 types of petrochemicals, including commodity plastics polyethylene and polypropylene and methyl methacrylate.

Sipchem also is said to have called on several other corporations, including DuPont and Lucite International Ltd., to participate in the project, and negotiations are now in the final stages.

The entire project will likely be split into several parts, with Mitsui assisting in the production of PE and PP. Reports say the Japanese firm is expected to sign a general agreement as early as this month.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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