Saudi petrochems producers are adding specialty chemicals to their portfolio as they target specialized end-users. Sipchem recently awarded an $160mn EPC contract to Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Uhde for a 63,000 tons/year polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resin plant at Jubail with a view to end-2014 start-up. PBT is a highly specialized thermoplastic polymer used in manufacturing materials for the automotive, electrical and electronic industries.

Sipchem CEO Ahmad al-Uhali says the PBT project will position the company as a global player in polymers and engineering plastics. Butanediol feedstock will come from Sipchem’s International Diol Company (IDC) affiliate in Jubail. IDC recently awarded Korea’s eTEC a contract for debottlenecking its 75,000 t/y plant, with completion slated for 4Q14. (CONTINUED - 495 WORDS)