New LDPE Plant Starts up at Sadara

05.05.2017 -

Sadara, the joint venture of Dow Chemical and Saudi Aramco, has started up a new 50,000 t/y high-pressure LDPE plant at its complex in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Like the three PE trains that went on stream at the vast petrochemical site between December 2015 and August 2016, the LDPE unit is placed downstream of a mixed-feed cracker with capacity to produce 1.5 million t/y of ethylene. The US group called the start-up a “significant milestone” in the commercialization of Sadara's plastics franchise.

Construction of all of the site’s 26 production facilities was completed in December 2016, but not all have gone on stream. The remaining units, which will produce ethylene oxide, propylene oxide and derivatives butyl glycol ethers, propylene glycol, amines and polyols, in addition to isocyanates, are said to be on track for a sequenced start-up this year.

"Sadara's plastics units enable Dow to offer a technology-differentiated portfolio in expanding economies across Asia Pacific, India, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa," said Dow’s president and chief operating officer, Jim Fitterling, who is designated to become CEO of the merged chemical giant DowDuPont before it splits into three independent companies.

 "Our customers have been eagerly anticipating this new volume and will benefit from Sadara's broad product offering and close proximity to these fast-growing regions,"  Fitterling said.

The complex is billed as the first of its kind ever built in one phase.  When all units are up and running, it will turn out more than 3 million t/y of products, which the jv partners say “will add new value chains to the Kingdom's vast petroleum reserves, resulting in the diversification of the economy and region.“

Adjacent to the petrochemicals complex, Sadara will also have a plastics processing park PlasChem Park. For this, Dow and Saudi Aramco have linked up with Munich-based German chemical park management company Chemie-Cluster Bayern to promote investment.