Dow/Saudi Aramco jv Sadara starts up LDPE plant


Dow Chemical’s joint venture in the Middle East with Saudi Aramco, Sadara Chemical Company (Sadara), has commercialised its entire plastics franchise. The start-up of Sadara’s high-pressure low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plant adds to Sadara’s mixed feed cracker and the three additional polyethylene trains currently in operation.

“Sadara is a vital growth investment aligned to Dow’s long-term strategy to go narrower and deeper into our core growth markets,” said Andrew Liveris, Dow’s Chairman/CEO. “The completion of this milestone positions Dow to strengthen our global materials science franchise by capturing additional consumer demand and extending our competitive advantage through industry-leading integration and feedstock flexibility.”

The world-scale complex in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, continues to make steady progress on its start-up and commercialisation activities. Sadara’s mixed feed cracker—the largest single unit at the facility—began operations in August 2016. The first three polyethylene production units came online in December 2015, April 2016 and September 2016, and each are reactor qualified and have met their license warranty runs.

Dow says almost 32 PE products have been qualified to date, serving more than 350 customers in 58 countries. Construction of all of Sadara’s 26 production facilities was completed in December 2016.

“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 Jim Fitterling, Dow’s President/COO.

The remaining units at the complex are on schedule for a sequenced start-up throughout 2017, including ethylene oxide, propylene oxide and their derivatives (butyl glycol ethers, propylene glycol, amines, and polyols) and isocyanates.

The Sadara chemical complex is the largest of its kind ever built in a single phase and the first chemical complex in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to use naphtha as part of its feedstock..

The more than 3 million tonnes of performance-focused products will add new value chains to Saudi Arabia’s vast petroleum reserves, resulting in the diversification of the economy and region, says Dow.


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