Saudi Arabia to build world's largest butanol plant

Saudi Butanol Co. (SaBuCo), which will build the world's largest butanol plant in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, was recently registered by the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

At its first meeting in Jubail recently, the SaBuCo board observed that the new joint venture was a reflection of the strong cooperation between three leading Saudi petrochemical companies and their commitment to create economic value through efficient and effective utilization of the country's natural resources.

The three project partners are Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co., a manufacturing affiliate of the Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC); Sadara Chemical Co.(Sadara), a joint venture developed by Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco) and Dow Chemical Co.; and Saudi Acrylic Acid Co. (SAAC), owned by TSOC, an affiliate of Tasnee Co. and Sahara Petrochemicals Co.

The partners are now in the process of executing agreements to further consolidate the partnership and business collaboration. The agreements cover several key elements, including financing, tolling, operations and maintenance, engineering and procurement, construction, project management consulting and technology licensing.

A celebration to mark the official formation of the company was held in Riyadh recently by the three project partners. While thanking the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for its continuing support, they pledged to further expand and deepen their cooperation to promote development and diversification of Saudi Arabia's economy.

With an estimated investment of $517 million, SaBuCo will build the first butanol plant in the Middle East, and its products will support the continued growth of the paints and coatings industry in Saudi Arabia.

The design capacity of the plant, which is scheduled to go onstream in 2015, is 330,000 metric tons per year (metric MMtpy) of n-butanol and 11,000 metric MMtpy of isobutanol.

Saleh Al-Nazha, TASNEE CEO and SAAC Chairman, said that the butanol plant will provide additional integration to SAAC's acrylates complex, which is the first complex of its kind in the region.

As per an earlier agreement signed in December 2012, the new butanol plant will be located at Tasnee's Petrochemical Complex in Jubail Industrial City and will also be operated by Tasnee.

It will open new job opportunities of around 200 direct and indirect positions for Saudi citizens.

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