Al-Dhafeeri: Sipchem is well-placed

Al-Dhafeeri: Sipchem is well-placed

Sipchem bullish on petchem outlook

The company’s manufacturing business has also seen a significant shift through the manufacture of custom Hawk jet platforms, as well as its own ground equipment, through the Saudi specialised products factory ‘Wahaj’ in Riyadh

01 December 2018

Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem), a key player in the petrochemical sector in Saudi Arabia, is optimistic about the global market outlook and hopes to see more growth in the petrochemical business.

Sipchem, a globally recognised chemical company, recently announced the commercial operation of its polybutylene terephthalate plant (PBT) in Jubail Industrial City.

“This is an important step in Sipchem history, as Sipchem is now very well placed to support the development of local high-end engineering resin based industry in the region including automotive parts manufacturing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and globally,” said Mater Al-Dhafeeri, Sipchem’s vice president, marketing and planning.

With the announcement of commercial operation, customers’ confidence and partnering with Sipchem for business growth improves. Sipchem now can be engaged into long term supply and business development agreements for industries requiring PBT, said Al-Dhafeeri.

This also adds value to Sipchem’s BDO (butanediol) supply chain, as we are now one of the few backward integrated PBT producers. Sipchem now produces and sells high quality PBT, a specialty engineering polymer used extensively in global automotive production and electronics industry, he said. Sipchem exports polymers to locally, Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.

“We have participated in various exhibitions and conducted series of workshops and customer visits to promote the industry that enabled PBT sales locally and internationally. Now that the raw material is available, it is only a matter of time before downstream investors start utilizing the material more in the local market for the local industry.

“As a major petrochemical company, we are committed to our role of facilitating and enabling further downstream growth within the Kingdom. A commercial grade PBT is a proof of our commitment to localisation, when we brought to the Kingdom a new and niche raw material,” he said.

The total production capacity of the PBT Plant is 63,000 metric tonnes a year. PBT is a high-specialty engineering polymer used in many applications, such as car parts manufacturing, electrical/electronic products and various other industrial application, he explains.

PBT is a mechanically strong engineering polymer which is heat resistant up to 150°C, chemical resistant and has exceptional electrical properties. It is used as a connector in the electrical and electronics industries, in the automotive industry (electrical system, mirror housings, handles, fuel system) and in a range of household goods (e.g. shower heads, irons). PBT can also be processed into fibers and extrusion applications, he says.

The company has also embarked on the implementation of a transformation program towards safety excellence in cooperation with the largest specialized companies in this field. Sipchem’s plants occupy one million square meter in the basic industries area of Jubail Industrial City.

Sipchem’s manufacturing business has also seen a significant shift through the manufacture of custom Hawk jet platforms, as well as its own ground equipment, through the Saudi specialised products factory ‘Wahaj’ in Riyadh.

The company has adopted all regulations and requirements subject to the CMA system, to achieve maximum transparency and protect the interests of investors.

Also, Sipchem continued its duties in the area of social responsibility through programs covering many areas of the kingdom and in all areas of health, culture, sports, training and development.

In the coming years, the company will continue its ambitions to evaluate growth opportunities available locally and globally as defined by the company’s growth strategy by increasing the capacity of existing plants, embarking into new business opportunities, or mergers and acquisitions, he says.

To a question on what effect falling oil prices had on the company, he said oil prices generally play a big part in the petrochemical business’ performance. Lower oil prices certainly tend to render negative market sentiments. “As a producer we continuously work to enhance our efficiency in doing business and make relentless efforts to optimize cost. We also implemented various marketing strategies to help balance between minimising the impact during low oil prices and maximising the benefit during the high oil prices.”

Sipchem recently showcased latest innovations at the Second Sipchem Technology and Innovation Forum at the Sipchem Technology and Innovation Center ‘Manar’, in Saudi Arabia.

The forum was held under the theme `Sustaining Innovation’.

During the forum, many papers were submitted to discuss all aspects of innovation and technology as well as the scientific updates, said a statement from the company.

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