W. R. Grace & Co. has signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture with Al Dahra Agricultural Co. to build and operate a fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts and additives plant in the Middle East.
The joint venture is subject to the execution of definitive agreements and receipt of regulatory approvals.
The production plant would be located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and used to supply oil refiners in the high growth Middle East and South Asia markets.
There are expected to be 16 FCC units built in these regions in the next five years, which would increase the catalyst opportunity in the region by approximately $150 million.
The plant in Abu Dhabi would be the first FCC catalysts and additives plant in the region, and is an important step for Grace to reinforce the reliable and timely distribution of FCC catalysts and additives to refineries in the region.
Grace, the worlds largest manufacturer of FCC catalysts and additives, said it expects that the growth in the region will be more than adequate for the capacity of the new plant by the time it is anticipated to come on stream in late 2015.
This joint venture will leverage our strengths in the FCC segment with the strong local relationships of Al Dahra and their expertise in logistics and infrastructure support, said Shawn A. Abrams, president of Grace Catalysts Technologies. This investment will allow us to capture growth in the Middle East and Asia and optimize our capacity in other regions.
Al Dahra is very pleased to partner with a leading technology supplier to the oil industry, bringing know how and expertise to the Emirates, said H.E. Khadim Al Darei, vice chairman and MD at Al Dahra.
This joint venture represents another milestone in the companys strategy to diversify its service offering and reinforces the commitment of its leadership to ensure sustainable national economic growth.