Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) Vice-Chairman and CEO Muhammad al-Mady has confirmed that the state petrochemicals firm is in talks with potential partners to capitalize on the ready availability of cheap US shale gas. He told reporters on the sidelines of the Boao Forum For Asia in Hainan, China, on 6 April: “We are talking about building a new cracker. We are looking at least at one or two investments.”

Analysts ICIS said in a 5 April commentary that SABIC is planning a world-scale cracker – ie in the 1.0-1.5mn tons/year capacity range – in the US. There are already plans by US firms and companies with US operations to build six new ethane crackers with a combined capacity of over 10mn t/y in the US. (CONTINUED - 287 WORDS)