Saudi petrochemicals companies are making a strategic push into developing new technologies at the same time as they are building giant plants to produce high-value chemicals aimed at specialized markets. Both SABIC and Saudi Aramco – along with US partner Dow in the giant Sadara project and Japan’s Sumitomo in Petro Rabigh 2 – see market-led innovation as the key to securing customers for their new products.

SABIC has opened R&D centers in China and India as part of a $500mn plan which also involves two state-of-the-art technology and innovation centers in Saudi Arabia itself (MEES, 1 February). On 2 December SABIC Chairman Prince Saud bin ‘Abd Allah bin Thunayan al-Saud opened the SABIC Technology Center in Shanghai, built with an initial investment of $100mn. (CONTINUED - 514 WORDS)