FUTURE PLANS AND INVESTMENT
SABIC continued its committed efforts throughout 2019 to achieve its strategy, focusing primarily on accelerating growth, transformation initiatives, expanding its product portfolio, and developing innovative technologies.
Both organic and inorganic, SABIC is working to build an asset footprint in the US to capitalize on shale gas opportunities, to build its presence in Asia and Europe, and to leverage its strength in Saudi Arabia for growth and Vision 2030. It plans to leverage and reinforce its local infrastructure and capabilities in support of its growth ambitions in China.
To maintain our growth momentum, we are further strengthening our relationships with our customers through our operations in 50 countries. We have established an extensive network of regional offices and operational centers throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia to support customer needs. We have a strong presence in key regions where demand is strong, with proximity to future growth markets as well. With our strategic geographic position and market-driven focus, we are well positioned to support our customers to grow their business with our differentiated offerings and innovative solutions.
Based on our approach of evaluating various investment opportunities that contribute to achieving our objectives and strategic plans, we do not see it feasible to establish a joint venture with South Louisiana Methanol LP in the US to produce methanol, and to establish a petrochemical complex with the Chinese Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Ltd. to convert coal to chemicals in China.
IMPROVING BUSINESS PORTFOLIO
SABIC’s business plans for Specialties reflect its strategic importance. We plan to move it toward a multisector industry profile. Organically, the business will continue to focus on new opportunities in fast-growing and disruptive end-markets.
In a challenging competitive environment, SABIC Europe engages constantly in making business improvements, working closely with major OEMs and specifiers to better exploit technology and drive innovation, in compliance with stringent regulations and sustainability targets. We are playing a leading role in addressing the challenges of climate change, and have developed circular solutions with chemically recycled mixed plastic waste.
In 2019, we signed a share-purchase agreement with SAFCO, under which we will acquire the newly formed SABIC Agri-Nutrients Investment Company in exchange for shares, thus increasing our shareholding in SAFCO to 50.1%. Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and SAFCO’s shareholders’ approval at its extraordinary general assembly.
Innovation is key to maintain a competitive edge, achieve growth and drive success. We work closely with each business unit and operating function to improve existing processes and products as well as developing new ones, often working closely with our customers to do so.
In addition, as part of our research efforts, we collaborate with other companies, universities and international research centers. This usually involves a joint initiation, funding, supervision and completion of the research, followed by a sharing of intellectual property rights. We are currently working with over 350 partners across the globe and major partnerships are in place in the US, the Netherlands, China, Saudi Arabia and India.
Our manufacturing affiliates in Saudi Arabia are fully committed to complying with the first cycle targets set by the government-led Saudi Energy Efficiency Program (SEEP). Over the last five years, they have taken several initiatives to meet these targets, which will be measured by the SEEP Audit Committee early 2020.
Despite several challenges and difficulties, our affiliates successfully reduced approximately 80% of the overall gap from targets based on the latest 2018 performance report issued by Saudi Energy Efficiency Center (SEEC), which is driving the program.
We have so far completed more than 170 initiatives and projects with a total investment of SAR 4.6 billion. We have also invested in building our competencies and capabilities by certifying more than 100 engineers through our certified energy expert courses, besides providing awareness sessions to more than 250 frontline staff. As part of the capability building, we have developed smart enablers such as Advanced Simulation tools.
Some of the challenges faced by the affiliates were the continued use of some outdated assets at the plants as well as old technologies that required upgrading to comply with SEEP targets. This required huge investments and game-changing technologies that were unattractive from the business perspective. However, after careful evaluation, the affiliates now have more than six new ongoing mega projects with the potential investment of SAR 3.2 billion, besides the already-spent investment.
The affiliates are also considering similar initiatives to comply with future targets, including investing in breakthrough technology, renewable energy, integrated cogeneration, digitalization, etc.
SABIC is continuing to interact closely with SEEC on potential credits for their consideration toward meeting the first cycle target. If we fall short of the target, we will explore solutions with SEEC to mitigate any possible consequences.
SABIC continued to develop and expand its businesses under its ambitious long-term strategy. This includes a number of expansion and development projects, as well as signing of a number of strategic agreements.
The projects are split between Saudi Arabia and Rest of World and classified between growth projects, corporate research, corporate social responsibility, efficiency/debottlenecking/ improvement, sustainability/SEEC, research center, regional hub, training facility and housing.
The following is a summary of the key projects and agreements:
PROJECTS IN SAUDI ARABIA
||Project name||Brief description||Classification||Capacity||Location||Expected completion date||Status|
|1||United Ethylene Glycols||The project aims to expand Ethylene Glycols production by building the third Ethylene Oxide/ Ethylene Glycols Plant at Al-Jubail United Petrochemical Company (UNITED).||Growth||MEG 700 KTA DEG 97 KTA TEG 5,7 KTA||Jubail, KSA||Q4 2020||Under construction|
|2||GAS Expansion||The project aims to increase the production capacity and provide continuous oxygen and nitrogen for the safe operation of related industries in Jubail Industrial Area.||Growth||3,600 MTPD Oxygen. 3,500 MTPD Nitrogen||Jubail, KSA||2020||Under construction|
|3||SABIC Research Center||The project aims to build five new pilot plants with the same technology and capacity as existing in STC-Riyadh and install a new pilot plant to enhance the research and technology development capabilities of SABIC.||Research Center||-||Jubail, KSA||2021||Under construction|
|4||Petrokemya MTBE||The project aims to improve and uplift Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether (MTBE) Plant at Arabian Petrochemical Company (Petrokemya).||Efficiency/debottlenecking (DBN)/Improvement||Improve 30% of the original capacity||Jubail, KSA||-||Under evaluation|
|5||Nexlene™ technology||The project aims to increase polyethylene production utilizing Nexlene™ technology owned by SABIC SK Nexlene Company (SSNC). Nexlene™ technology is necessary for the food and non-food packaging industries, electrical cable manufacturing and chemical products reinforcement of polymers.||Growth||300 KTA||Jubail, KSA||-||Under evaluation|
|6||Petrokemya Olefins||The project aims to increase the production capacity of the first Olefins plant for Ethylene, which was established in 1981 at Arabian Petrochemical Company (Petrokemya).||Efficiency/ debottlenecking (DBN)/Improvement||Increase 180% of the original capacity||Jubail, KSA||-||Under evaluation|
|7||Sharq Olefins||The project aims to increase propane utilization by 25%, which will increase ethylene and propylene production at Eastern Petrochemical Company (Sharq).||Efficiency/ debottlenecking (DBN)/Improvement||-||Jubail, KSA||-||Under evaluation|
|8||SABIC Carbon Fiber||SABIC and DowAksa signed a technology license agreement. This allows SABIC to manufacture high quality carbon fibers in Saudi Arabia to expand its solutions portfolio and customer base in specialized industries.||Growth||3.0 Kilo-tons||KSA||-||Under preliminary engineering design|
|9||SABIC NaCN||SABIC and Evonik Industries signed three agreements related to hydrogen and sodium cyanide technologies. These agreements mark a major milestone for SABIC to secure the critical hydrogen cyanide and sodium cyanide technologies required to set up world-class manufacturing sites for both products in Saudi Arabia.||Growth||-||KSA||-||Under preliminary engineering design|
|10||SABIC and Marafiq Cogeneration Plants||SABIC and MARAFIQ signed an MOU to study an opportunity to build power and steam cogeneration plants in Jubail 1 Industrial Complex to optimize natural gas consumption and improve power generation efficiency.||Sustainability/ SEEC||Supply electrical power of approx. 2500 MW and HP steam of 3500 TPH||Jubail, KSA||-||Under evaluation|
|11||Saudi Methanol Company(Ar-Razi)||SABIC extends its joint venture with the Japan Saudi Arabia Methanol Company Inc. Extension of the partnership with the Japan Saudi Arabia Methanol Company Inc. in Saudi Methanol Company (Arrazi) for another 20 years and raising its ownership to 75% ownership. Building a new mega methanol plant or revamping the current plants is under evaluation.||Efficiency/ debottlenecking (DBN)/Improvement||-||Jubail, KSA||-||Under evaluation|
|12||Crude Oil to Chemicals||This project is designed to enable the production of refined products and chemicals directly from crude oil. SABIC and Saudi Aramco are committed to develop full range of technologies related to the conversion of crude oil to chemicals.||Growth||9 MTA of chemicals and base oils||Yanbu, KSA||2025||Under feasibility|
|13||Merge Sadaf in Petrokemya||SABIC has obtained the relevant regulatory approvals to merge its wholly owned affiliate Saudi Petrochemical Company (Sadaf) with all the assets, rights, liabilities and obligations in its wholly owned affiliate Arabian Petrochemical Company (Petrokemya).||Efficiency/ debottlenecking (DBN)/Improvement||-||Jubail, KSA||-||Completed|
|14||SABIC Jubail Main Building and Global Data Center||The project consists of an administrative building, training center and advanced information center designed to the highest international standards in terms of sustainability to serve the company and its subsidiaries in all countries of the world and enhance the work of the basic information systems on which the global operations depend.||Regional Hub||66,400 square meters||Jubail, KSA||2021||Under construction|
|15||SABIC Technology Center Jubail 2||The project aims to build a new research center in the existing SABIC Technology). Center at Jubail. The new technology center is to be a world class research center for the portfolios of Petrochemicals & Agri-Nutrients. The center will be a replacement for lab1 and lab2 at SABIC Technology Center in Riyadh. The new center will also enhance T&I research capabilities and allow future growth and improvement.||Research Center||65,000 square meters||Jubail, KSA||-||Under feasibility|
|16||Petrokemya Caustic Soda Plant||The project aims to replace Cell lines with state of the art Membrane Electrolyze cell lines, which eliminates the use of Asbestos, produces very high quality caustic soda and has significant power saving per ton of chlorine produced.||Sustainability/ SEEC||608 KTA||Jubail, KSA||2022||Engineering stage|
|17||Ibn Al-Baytar Sustainability||The project aims to improve energy efficiency of plant based on Saudi Energy Efficiency Center (SEEC) requirement.||Sustainability/ SEEC||-||Jubail, KSA||2020||Under construction|
|18||Yanpet Sustainability||The project aims to improve the energy utilization intensity of EG2 plant.||Sustainability/ SEEC||-||Yanbu, KSA||-||Under evaluation|
|19||Ibn Sina Sustainability||The project aims to reduce the energy intensity for Methanol plant based on Saudi Energy Efficiency Center (SEEC) requirement.||Sustainability/ SEEC||-||Jubail, KSA||2022||Under evaluation|
|20||SABIC Techno Valley Center||The project aims to build a state-of-the-art world-class research center in the Dhahran Techno Valley Center (DTVC), focusing on process technologies, leveraging existing talent and capabilities at KFUPM. The new research center will be part of SABIC’s global network across different regions.||Corporate Social Responsibility||-||Dhahran, KSA||-||Under preliminary engineering design|
|21||Al Matrafiya Housing||A housing project for Saudi employees at Jubail Industrial City. It is occupying an area of 4.4 square kilometers, comprising (2701) housing units, designed according to the latest structural specifications and features, alongside condominiums, several facilities.||Housing||2,701 housing units||Jubail, KSA||2020||Under construction|
|22||Al Jaar Housing||It is a housing project for Saudi employees at Yanbu Industrial City, occupying an area of 42.5 hectares.||Housing||550 housing units||Yanbu, KSA||2021||Under construction|
|23||SABIC Emergency Response Center||The Project is for providing Security and Safety training. Project also include expansion to the existing capacity for emergency response training activities.||Training facility||14,158 sq. meters||Jubail, KSA||-||Under evaluation|
We continue to launch new projects at our global sites. They include signing of a number of strategic agreements to enhance our competitiveness in line with our strategy, especially in the diversification of feedstock sources from traditional ones. Among these projects and agreements are:
REST OF WORLD
||Project name||Brief description||Classification||Capacity||Location||Expected completion date||Status|
|24||US Petrochemicals Joint Venture||The project aims to construct a petrochemicals manufacturing facility along the US Gulf Coast, a joint venture between SABIC and the ExxonMobil affiliate. This project would assist our goal of diversifying our feedstock sources and establish a petrochemical manufacturing presence in North America for a wide range of products to expand our market presence in the region across different products.||Growth||1.8 MTA of ethylene, 1 MTA of monoethylene glycols, 800 KTA of polyethylene||Texas, USA||2022||Under construction|
|25||US Petrochemicals Standalone||It is SABIC’s first standalone Greenfield project in the Americas Region. In addition, the project will play an important role to enhance SABIC’s footprint in Chemicals and Polymers production in America market and enhance customer relationships.||Growth||-||USA||-||Under feasibility|
|26||Memorandum of Understanding with the Fujian Provincial Government||SABIC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Fujian Provincial Government, laying down a framework of cooperation for the development of a world scale petrochemical complex.||Growth||-||China||-||Under preliminary engineering design|
|27||Polycarbonate Expansion||SABIC joint venture project (SINOPEC SABIC Tianjin Petrochemical Co. Ltd) with Sinopec to build Polycarbonate plant.||Growth||260 KTA||China||2021||Under construction|
|28||ULTEM™ Resins||The project aims to increase global capacity for SABIC high-performance engineering thermoplastic materials,ULTEM™ resins, in response to customer needs.||Growth||50% over a 2018 baseline||Singapore||2021||Under construction|
|29||TRUCIRCLE™ Semi-Commercial Plant||The project aims to build a demonstration plant in Geleen facility to transform waste plastic into feedstock for its crackers as part of SABIC’s strategy to further advance its circular economy model for the business of ‘Certified Circular Polymer’. The plant would target the chemical recycling of low quality,contaminated mixed plastic waste streams into a feedstock suitable for the company’s crackers in Europe. The feedstock, known as pyrolysis oil, is created by converting the plastic waste that would otherwise be incinerated for energy recovery or ends up in landfills. The feedstock will then be refined and upgraded at the new demonstration plant.||Sustainability/SEEC||18 KTA||Geleen, Netherlands||2021||Under engineering design|
|30||Polyphenylene Ether (PPE)||The project aims to recommission SABIC plant in Bergen op Zoom facility in order to expand the capacity of NORYL™ resins. PPE is the base resin for SABIC’s line of NORYL™ resins and oligomers.||Growth||Adding more than 40% global capacity over a 2017 baseline||Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands||2020||Under construction|
|31||Memorandum of Understanding with RDIF and ESN Group||The Memorandum is a preliminary step towards exploring the cooperation between the three parties to evaluate building and operating a methanol plant.||Growth||2 MTA||Amur Region, Russia||-||Under feasibility|
|32||Mauritania Saudi Mining and Steel Company||A joint venture (JV) between SABIC & the National Mining Company of Mauritania(SNIM) aimed to produce High Grade Direct Reduction Pellets (HGDRP) at 67–68% Fe & Silica less than 2% level using 35%–38% Fe magnetite iron ore.||Growth||10.0 MTA||Mauritania||-||Under feasibility|
|33||Africa Fertilizer Project||This project involves a new plant for the production and export of urea fertiliser, which is to be constructed in Africa.||Growth||-||Africa||-||Under evaluation|
|34||kGas||SABIC and ENI S.p.A. signed an agreement to jointly develop kGas, a new short contact time catalytic partial oxidation technology for generating synthesis gas, an essential chemicals production building block,potentially delivering lower CAPEX and OPEX, higher energy efficiency, lower CO2 footprint and wide feedstock flexibility.||Corporate research||-||Italy||2021||Demo plant phase|
|35||SABIC America Regional Hub (Houston)||In line with SABIC’s strategic plans to enhance its presence and growth in the U.S., SABIC has decided to design and build a new office along with T&I research and technology centers near Katy, Texas,which will provide world class work place attracting talent and customers in order to support the company’s competitiveness and research/development capabilities to serve as the regional hub for the Americas.||Regional hub||-||Texas, USA||Q2 2023||Under preliminary engineering design|