By Nick Gilbert
ExxonMobil Chemical, a petrochemical company, has partnered with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) to build a specialty elastomers manufacturing plant at the Al-Jubail Petrochemical’s (Kemya) complex in Saudi Arabia.
The construction is anticipated to be concluded in 2015. Kemya, a JV between Exxon Chemical Arabia and SABIC, has offered the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the world-class specialty elastomers plant to Daelim, Tecnicas Reunidas and Technip. The project signifies a considerable expansion of Kemya’s product range.
The plant will have a production capacity of about 400,000 tonnes of carbon black, thermoplastic specialty polymers and rubber per year. It will manufacture ethylene propylene diene monomer, polybutadiene, styrene butadiene, halobutyl and other types of rubber and will be able to better serve the local markets in Asia and the Middle East.
The new synthetic rubber capability is combined with a product application center in Riyadh; a vocational training center in Yanbu; the High Institute for Elastomer Industries (HIEI); and thermoplastic polyolefin compounding and inventory management facilities in Jubail. The HIEI will use Saudis as mentors to offer pioneering polymer science education programs that are created at the University of Akron Research Foundation located in Ohio, USA.
In Asia Pacific and the Middle East, the demand for rubber products has increased due to a growing infrastructure. The Kemya elastomers facility will help meet this demand and will depend on state-of-the-art technologies, including halobutyl rubber, thermoplastic specialty polymers and ExxonMobil EPDM technologies.