Sipchem has announced the initial start-up of the polybutylene terephthalate plant (PBT) of Sipchem Chemical Company (affiliate of Sipchem) at its complex in Jubail Industrial City on April 20, 2015.

This comes after successful completion of testing the plant equipment and ensuring its efficiency, production capacity and product quality. The plant will produce 63,000 metric tons of polybutylene terephthalate, which is one of the thermal engineering, highly specialised polymers used in the automotive industry and in the production of electrical and electronics materials. It is also utilised in the production of materials used in the IT field, polymers and engineering plastics industry. The company will announce the commercial operation, the financial impact and any further developments in due course.

Ahmad A. Al-Ohali, the chairman of Sipchem Chemical Company, the project owner, stated that the start-up of the PBT plant, which is considered the first of its kind in the Middle East, concurrently with commissioning of the EVA & LDPE plant, is an important step forward in Sipchem scheduled expansion and growth programme, where such specialised products come within Sipchem strategy to increase the added value of products through the implementation of integrated downstream projects using the company existing products.

Butanediol is produced by the International Diol Company (affiliate of Sipchem), and is the main feedstock for the production of polybutylene terephthalate. Sipchem will be able to benefit from its integrated products range and strengthen the value-added chain.

Al-Ohali added that the company’s products from polymers, which are important and necessary materials for many of the final advanced and downstream industries, will pave the way for several areas of investment in those industries in Saudi Arabia.

The total project cost is approximately $160 million, where Sipchem owns 95% of the capital of Sipchem Chemical Company and the remaining percentage is owned by Sipchem Marketing Company.

Source: Oil and Gas Technology