Saudi petrochemicals giant Sabic and Korea’s SK Global Chemical have inaugurated a joint venture which will operate a 230,000 tons/year specialty polyolefins plant at the port of Ulsan in southeastern Korea. Besides bringing Sabic 50% equity in the plant, the venture also gives it access to SK’s proprietary Nexlene process technology.

The $640mn agreement was concluded in July, after SK started up the plant in May. The plant will produce linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), polyolefin plastomers and polyolefin elastomers using metallocene catalysts (MEES, 10 July). These will be sold to manufacturers in the packaging, automotive, healthcare, footwear and electrical and lighting industries. Partners announced that, in addition to the manufacturing facility, they will also open a research and development center at Daejeon in central Korea. Sabic says the R&D unit will focus on process development as well as catalyst and product development. It will also sponsor and oversee research at universities and third party facilities in Korea and abroad. (CONTINUED - 275 WORDS)