Kuwait’s state petchems firm PIC is buying 49% of the chemicals business of Korea’s SKC, it announced 7 August. The deal is PIC’s second Korean petchems venture, which like the SK Advanced propylene JV with Korea’s SK Gas and Saudi Arabia’s Advanced has a plant at Ulsan. Under the agreement the two firms will form a JV to operate SKC’s propylene oxide (PO) and propylene glycol (PG) business and also own 45% of the SKC Evonik Peroxide Korea hydrogen peroxide JV with Germany’s Evonik. SKC says the ‘enterprise value’ of the JV is $1.195bn, implying that PIC is paying just under $600mn for its 49% stake, and it expects the deal to close 1Q 2020. SKC has capacity to produce 310,000 t/y of PO and 150,000 t/y of PG and aims to raise PO output to 1mn t/y.

The deal will diversify and expand PIC’s petchems portfolio. As in Korea, it manages this mainly via JVs. Although PIC operates a fertilizers plant in Kuwait, it partners with US firm Dow Chemical to operate an ethane cracker and downstream units in Kuwait and ethylene glycol operations in Canada and the US (MEES, 9 August). With Canada’s Pembina PIC is developing a polypropylene plant in Canada. PIC also partners Saudi firm Sabic and Bahrain’s Noga in a fertilizers plant in Bahrain (MEES, 8 February). (CONTINUED - 226 WORDS)