SABIC building a plastics applications development center at Saudi university

The Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) has signed a construction contract with El Seif Engineering Contracting to build a new SABIC plastics application development center (SPADC) at the Riyadh Techno Valley research complex inside the King Saud University (KSU) campus in Saudi Arabia. The new facility will comprise an area of some 80,000 square meters, including about 43,000 square meters of building space.

During the signing ceremony, the audience viewed graphic representations of the new facility design and were briefed on a variety of applications under development, such as automobile bumpers, body panels,  stadium seats and others.

Prince Faisal Al-Saud, advisor to the ministry of petroleum and mineral resources, said that the project reflects the close cooperation between SABIC and various Saudi universities, including King Saud University. It is also part of SABIC’s 2020 strategy, which emphasizes the importance of scientific research to serve industries and the process of innovation, and for the creation of new industries.

“I take this opportunity to commend the efforts made by Prince Faisal bin Turki bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to get this project accomplished. I would also like to acknowledge the support received from Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Angari, minister of higher education; Dr. Abdullah A.Al-Othman, rector of King Saud University; and Azzam Shalabi, president of the National Industrial Clusters Development Program,” Prince Saud said.  “My sincere gratitude to all of them. I also thank the working group of SABIC, the university, and all others who have worked hard and contributed to the achievement of this advanced stage of the project. I hope to meet you again soon when the project is fully accomplished.”

The center will support the continued expansion of SABIC’s new product portfolio, especially in the areas of packaging, automotive materials and compounding. It will also support the growth of downstream industries. The facility will collaborate with customers in developing new plastic applications and provide technical support to SABIC’s local and international customers.
Also speaking on the occasion, Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Ubaid said that the center will be part of SABIC’s Global Technology Center network and will work closely with other company-owned and operated centers in Pittsfield in the US, Bergen op Zoom and Geleen in The Netherlands, Bangalore in India, Shanghai in China, Seoul in Korea and Moka in Japan. The Center will further enhance the relationships between SABIC, industrial investors and KSU. The Center will also house the current Polymer Technical Support Center now located in Riyadh II Industrial City and will also act as a technical support hub and training center for SABIC’s customers worldwide.

The design and engineering services for the project were performed by the local architecture firm, Zuhair Fayez, in partnership with the US-based firm KlingStubbins. The Center will be a LEED-certified building that complies with accepted benchmarks for the design and operation of high-performance green buildings.  The center’s design will also become a local landmark, standing almost 60 meters high to provide graphic representation of SABIC as one of the world’s leading petrochemical companies and the largest in the Middle East. It is expected to be operational by the beginning of the third quarter of 2012.

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