Sadra Chemical, a leading petrochemical joint venture between Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Aramco and Dow Chemical, has started operating its mixed-feed cracker (MFC). The MFC is one of 26 manufacturing units located in the $20b Sadara chemical complex in Jubail Industrial City II. All facilities are expected to be commissioned by the end of 2017, Trade Arabia reported.

Earlier in January, Sadra’s CEO, Ziad Al-Labban, said that the cracker would eventually reach feeds of 85mcf/d of ethane and 50,000b/d of naphtha, according to Reuters.

The MFC is the only one of its kind in Saudi Arabia, consisting of 12 furnaces. Of these, seven will be used to crack ethane gas, while the remaining five will be used to crack naphtha liquid. Three of the five liquid furnaces are designed so that they can switch between gas and liquid feed stock.

Al-Labban said: “the state-of-the-art MFC allows us to produce our own basic chemicals on-site, and subsequently to convert these basic chemicals into a wide range of value-added plastics and specialty chemicals through our other manufacturing units. It also allows us to adjust our production levels of chemicals between naphtha-based and ethane-based feedstock in accordance with market demand.”