Sabic’s Kemya plant in Jubail, Saudi Arabia

Sabic’s Kemya plant in Jubail, Saudi Arabia

Sabic stresses kingpin role

The company tells Gulf Industry it is pushing the envelope for plastics and rubber with breakthroughs to produce material that will serve communities in day to day life

01 July 2013

Sabic has stoutly reaffirmed its role in the global rubber, plastics and piping sectors, stressing it is continually investing in technologies and innovations that drive these sectors forward. 

“The company is developing products that address tomorrow’s sustainability challenges, including reducing carbon intensity, improving energy and water use and increasing material efficiency,” it told this magazine. 

“Sabic’s Innovative Plastics business constantly expands the boundaries of what’s possible with materials. As demand for solar power rises, Sabic is helping to drive the feasibility and integration of photovoltaic systems, which represent the third most important renewable energy source – after hydroelectric and wind power – in terms of capacity,” it added.

The company outlined recent efforts. It has launched the first polycarbonate (PC) building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) panels for roofing, cladding and glazing applications. This breakthrough solution from Sabic’s Innovative Plastics business, called Lexan BIPV panel, provides architects and builders with enhanced design freedom, thermal insulation, easy installation and energy production in a single, integrated solution.

The company has started manufacturing thermoplastic grades at its affiliates in Jubail and Yanbu in Saudi Arabia and in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, which could revolutionise the domestic pipelines sector with environmentally responsible applications ranging from transporting potable water to gas and sewage. It is currently working with local authorities to encourage them to construct pipelines for potable water distribution systems using these plastic grades to enhance service standards for the community. Sabic-branded HDPE pipes allow the clean transportation of drinking water, avoiding soil contamination from sewage. The same technology provides viable solutions for future challenges of conveying energy and gas, clean drinking water and waste water.

Sabic is also working with affiliates of ExxonMobil to construct a world-scale speciality elastomers facility at the Al Jubail Petrochemical Company (Kemya) manufacturing joint-venture in 2015. This first-of-its-kind facility will create a platform to support the development of the rubber industry worldwide and produce a broad range of consumer rubber products including roof sheeting, tyres, weather deals, gaskets, hoses and conveyer belts. With a total investment of $ 3.4 billion, it will have the capacity to produce up to 400,000 tonnes per year of rubber including halobutyl, styrene butadiene, polybutadiene, and ethylene propylenediene monomer (EPDM) rubbers, thermoplastic specialty polymers, and carbon black.

“These are some of many examples of how Sabic is building its business firmly on the principles of innovation, creating new materials and possibilities while finding more efficient processes for bringing them to market. Sabic has firmly set its sights on becoming the preferred world leader in chemicals in 2025 and will continue to develop value-added products for our customers from basic petrochemicals using innovative chemicals,” it said.

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