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Saudi petrochemicals giant Sabic has concluded negotiations with Korea’s SK Global Chemical on a $640mn JV which will give it 50% of SK’s 230,000 tons/year specialty polyolefins plant at Ulsan, which was started up in May, and in its proprietary Nexlene process technology.
Sabic says the JV aims to expand its manufacturing capacity with the construction and operation of other plants globally, all incorporating Nexlene technology. When Sabic announced the initial agreement for the buy-in, it said one of the new plants would be in Saudi Arabia (MEES, 20 June 2014).
The Korean plant produces linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), polyolefin plastomers and polyolefin elastomers using metallocene catalysts. Sabic sees growing demand for these materials in the flexible packaging, industrial and agricultural films, automotive, footwear, medical and construction industries. The deal gives Sabic access to catalyst technology originally developed by ExxonMobil, with subsequent variants for the production of different polyolefins being available under license from Dow, Borealis, Univation, Chevron Phillips, Ineos, Mitsui and SK.
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