Dhahran, Saudi Arabia - Dow Chemical Co. and Petroleum group Saudi Aramco plan to build a plastics and chemicals complex in Saudi Arabia that will include propylene oxide and "polyurethane components," according to a 12 May announcement from Dow.
As well as ethylene, propylene, aromatic and chlorine derivatives, the project has scope to make polyethylene, ethylene oxide and glycol, propylene oxide and glycol, chlor-alkali, vinyl chloride monomer, unspecified polyurethane components, epoxy resins, polycarbonate, amines and glycol ethers, said Dow.
The two groups have just signed a detailed memorandum of understanding on construction, ownership and operation of this world-scale chemicals and plastics production complex - one of the largest of its kind in the world, Dow said - called the Ras Tanura Integrated Project.
The next step is final negotiations to form a joint venture to build, own and operate the facility, in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province. The facility will be operationally integrated with Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura Refinery complex and its Ju'aymah gas processing plant-"two of the largest facilities of their kind in the world," the statement said. Feedstock for the JV will be supplied from these units.
Pointing out that, "This project will leverage our largest refining asset and enhance its profitability by capitalising on the value addition opportunities and synergies existing between refining and petrochemicals," Saudi Aramco president & ceo Abdallah Jum'ah added that the JV's wide range of materials "will help spawn other downstream chemical conversion industries."
"This joint venture will further strengthen Dow's presence in the Middle East and add to our already vast capabilities worldwide," commented Dow chairman and ceo Andrew Liveris, in the announcement. He pointed to the complex's long-term, secure, reliable feedstock position, through its integration to the adjacent Aramco units.
A Dow spokesperson said that the first phase of the project will be starting up in 2012, after completion of a detailed feasibility study. Nor further details of what type of polyurethane materials will be made are available at present, the spokesman added. epw"