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Sabic plans US petrochemical investment

October 23, 2013
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Saudi petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) recently announced plans to invest in a petrochemical project in the United States next year and tap into the U.S. shale energy abundance.

The company is currently looking at investment opportunities and there is still no definite decision, but Sabic hopes to reach a deal in 2014, the Financial Times reported.

Mohamed Al Mady, chief executive of Sabic, said the company was looking to expand production by taking advantage of the most feasible feedstock, which at the moment happened to be U.S. shale gas. Sabic, which is the world's largest producer of petrochemicals by market value, was discussing its options with several potential partners, he added.

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Al Mady said further that the company was interested in manufacturing a wide range of petrochemical products in the United States, including fertilizers, polyolefins, monoethylene glycol and methanol. These can be applied in numerous industries for the making of fuel additives, windscreen fluids, antifreeze and resins, among others, he explained.

The Saudi Arabian group is not the first company to look to tap the U.S. shale energy revolution. Oil and gas companies from all over the world have been attracted by the cheap and ample supplies of fuels, accessible through hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. As production soars, key feedstocks for the petrochemical industry also become more affordable, especially ethylene, the Financial Times pointed out. Several multinational companies, like Royal Dutch Shell, Formosa Plastics and Braskem, have already started projects in the United States, the newspaper noted.

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