(EnergyAsia, May 27 2011, Friday) — Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic) said it and China’s Sinopec have signed a deal to build a 260,000-ton-a-year polycarbonate plant in Tianjin city for start-up in 2015.

The new plant will be an extension to the three-million-ton-a-year petrochemical complex that the two companies jointly started up in the northern Chinese last year. Their equal joint-venture firm, Sinopec SABIC Tianjin Petrochemical Company (SSTPC), are producing a range of petrochemicals including ethylene, polyethylene, ethylene glycol, polypropylene, butadiene, phenol and butene-1.

Sabic said the new plant will leverage its world-class polycarbonate technology using the phosgene and dichloromethane free process. The performance properties of purity, transparency and continuous process will bring local polycarbonate resin capabilities to a diverse customer base in China.

Polycarbonate is an essential plastic used for producing components for automotive parts, compact discs, and a variety of consumer products as well as other industrial components.

Mohamed Al-Mady, Sabic vice chairman and CEO, said:

“This new and exciting milestone is a strong endorsement of our partnership with Sinopec. Today’s announcement will strategically position both companies as world-class producers of essential petrochemical supplies to meet increasing global demands for customers in China. Importantly, this agreement has set the stage for further growth in high-performance engineered thermoplastics.”

Wang Tianpu, Sinopec’s vice chairman and CEO, said: “Sinopec’s agreement on polycarbonate collaboration is another fruition of the deep and productive partnership with Sabic. Our partnership is a good showcase of the close trade ties between China and Saudi Arabia. This investment plays critical role in perfecting our value chain and in enhancing our competitiveness. The project will drive local economic development, satisfy growing demands for polycarbonate in Asia.”

Sabic recently launched two technology and innovation centres in China and India.

Chairman Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud, who was recently in Guangzhou city in Guangdong province as part of a nationwide tour, said:

“These new investments reflect Sabic’s dedication to expand our market in Asia, and highlights the importance we attach to our customers, partners and employees. Sabic is constantly improving assets, expanding offices across Asia, exploring other opportunities, and seeking new partnerships.”

Vice chairman and CEO Al-Mady said: “Our strong presence in Asia reflects our ambition to be the preferred petrochemical supplier in this important region. Sabic has embarked on a series of infrastructure expansions as part of our growth plans here. These include our offices, manufacturing and Technology & Innovation operations across 13 key markets, supported by 2,000 employees. Our focus remains on helping our customers create products that would improve the quality of life around the world.”