ExxonMobil Chemical and Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic) joint-venture synthetic rubber plants were expected to cost about $5 billion (Dh18.39 billion), a senior company executive said on.

The project will have a combined production capacity of about 400,000 tonnes per year of carbon black, rubber and speciality polymers for both domestic and international sales.

“We are working on a $5 billion project for elastomers. It goes into the tyre industry which will contribute to the downstream industry that will eventually be developed, like manufacturing tyres in this country,” Marc Granier vice-president of Exxon Mobil Chemicals in Saudi Arabia told reporters.

The plants, which will be based at the Kemya complex in Jubail and the Yanpet complex in Yanbu, were expected to come online between 2013 and 2014, Granier said.

Granier said they will take a final investment decision with Sabic by 2010 or 2011. “I think we have some key checkpoints with our partner and hurdles we have to overcome; probably we will go through an appropriation of these projects not before end of 2010 or even 2011,” he said.

Granier said no contractor has been selected yet for the engineering work which hung on a final investment decision.

(Gulf News)