Industry News

SABIC & SK Global Chemical Inaugurate Plant to Produce mLLDPE, POP and POE

Published on 2015-10-19. Author : SpecialChem

SABIC and the Korean petrochemical company, SK Global Chemical, inaugurated a new industrial plant to manufacture a range of high-performance polyethylene products using the cutting-edge Nexlene™ Solution Technology.

Fig. 1: SABIC

The ceremony was attended by SABIC Chairman Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud and Acting Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Yousef A. Al-Benyan and Executive Vice Presidents Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh and Yousef Al-Zamel. SK was represented by Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, SK Innovation CEO Chung Chul-Khil, and SK Global Chemical CEO Cha Hwa-Youp. Also in attendance were Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Yoon Sang-jick and Ulsan Mayor Kim Gi-hyeon.

"For SABIC, the events represent a key milestone in our goal to develop groundbreaking technologies and innovations in partnership with global industry leaders like SK," said Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud. "The cutting-edge Nexlene Solution Technology gives us confidence that we are offering a more advanced, high-value, and unique customer-focused selection of products to the world."

The 50-50 joint venture holding company, SABIC SK Nexlene Company (SSNC) was established last July and is headquartered in Singapore. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Korea Nexlene Company (KNC), owns the plant in Ulsan, which has an annual capacity of 230,000 tons. The aggregate purchase price for the technology and plant is approximately USD 640 million.

The plant will produce metallocene linear low density polyethylene (mLLDPE), polyolefin plastomers (POP) and polyolefin elastomers (POE) that will meet the growing needs of diverse industries such as advanced packaging, automotive, healthcare, footwear and electrical & lighting.

"We are very pleased to take this latest step in our partnership with SK Global Chemical, which further expands SABIC’s presence worldwide," said Yousef Al-Benyan, SABIC’s Acting Vice Chairman and CEO. "This new plant symbolizes our determination to open new markets and underscores our position as a global leader – a major goal of our 2025 strategy."

Nexlene will offer customers better performance – including excellent impact strength, enhanced toughness, superior transparency, and much more.

These unique properties and characteristics of products using Nexlene technology offer a range of possibilities for the development of innovative product and differentiated applications.

• The packaging industry will benefit from mLLDPE to manufacture flexible food packaging and wrapping materials.
• The exceptional heat-sealing properties of POP will improve a variety of packaging products that require low temperature sealing, adhesion, and optics.
• Industries that require elasticity will also see important advantages from POE. These include the automotive industry, consumer products like footwear, and wire and cable for the utility and construction industries.

Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh, SABIC Polymers Executive Vice President, said the new plant would enable both partners to grow in the highly specialized polyethylene market.

"The products that will be coming from this plant will provide high-value polymer products to global customers," he said. "With Nexlene Solution Technology, SABIC now has access to the most complete polyethylene technology platforms within the petrochemical industry."

In addition to the new manufacturing facility, SABIC and SK will inaugurate a new state of the art research and development facility in Daejeon tomorrow.

It will feature departments focusing on process development, as well as catalyst and product development. The center will also sponsor and oversee research programs at universities and third party facilities in Korea and around the world.

These new facilities mark the latest SABIC investments in manufacturing and research capabilities in the Far East after its partnership with the China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) and the SABIC Technology Center in Shanghai which was inaugurated in 2013.

About Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC)

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks one among the world’s largest diversified chemical companies. The company is among the world’s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and agrinutrients.

SABIC recorded a net profit of SR 23.3 billion (US$ 6.2 billion) in 2014. Sales revenues for 2014 totaled SR 188.1 billion (US$ 50.2 billion). Total assets stood at SR 340 billion (US$ 90.7 billion) at the end of 2014.

SABIC’s businesses are grouped into Chemicals, Polymers, Agri-Nutrients, Metals and Innovative Plastics. It has significant research resources with innovation hubs in five key geographies – USA, Europe, Middle East, South East Asia and North East Asia. The company operates in more than 50 countries across the world with around 40,000 employees worldwide.

SABIC manufactures on a global scale in Saudi Arabia, the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. Headquartered in Riyadh, SABIC was founded in 1976 when the Saudi Arabian Government decided to use the hydrocarbon gases associated with its oil production as the principal feedstock for production of chemicals, polymers and fertilizers. The Saudi Arabian Government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares with the remaining 30 percent held by private investors in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

Source: SABIC

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