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Sabic pulls out of PBT complex

01 June 2008

Saudi Basic Industries (Sabic) has declined a 35% stake in the $1-billion polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and related intermediates complex being planned by Osos Petrochemicals at Yanbu in Saudi Arabia. A memorandum of understanding was signed between Sabic and Osos January 2008. But after negotiations, the parties could not reach agreement on the project and Sabic has decided to pull out.

Sabic has not given a reason but a report in the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) cites ‘the off-take cost of the PBT’. The report suggests that Osos is looking for another partner.

The project includes a production unit for 60,000 tonne/year of PBT, an engineering plastic used in automotive and electronics applications. There will also be 50,000 tonne/year of butanediol, an intermediate used in polyurethane and PBT; 3,500 tonne/year of tetrahydrofuran, used as a solvent and to make polytetramethylene ether glycol and drug compounds; and 85,000 tonne/year of maleic anhydride acid, which will be consumed within the plant.

Hitachi will supply most of the process technology for the complex and Foster Wheeler has won contracts for the front-end engineering design and project management consultancy service contract for the project. Contractors in the frame for the $500-million engineering, procurement, and construction contract for the
main process units include Aker Solutions in partnership with Sinopec; GS Engineering & Construction (Seoul); Samsung Engineering;

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