Saudi state-led petchems giant Sabic has received regulatory approvals for an extension of its Saudi Methanol Company (Ar-Razi) joint venture with Tokyo-based Japan Saudi Arabia Methanol Company (JSMC) for a further 20 years. Sabic announced on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) on 24 June that JSMC will pay Sabic $1.35bn in three instalments, with the first due by the end of June and the last one due in 2021. Some of the money will be used to refurbish the Ar-Razi plant.

Under the extended deal Sabic will hold 75% of the equity in Ar-Razi while JSMC has 25%, whereas under the previous arrangement the two firms were equal partners. Ar-Razi was built at Jubail on the Saudi Gulf coast and has methanol production capacity of 4.7mn t/y. Sabic and JSMC signed an agreement to build, own and operate the plant in November 1979. (CONTINUED - 138 WORDS)