Emergency shutdown at polypropylene plant in Saudi Arabia

Aug. 18, 2014

Saudi Arabian petrochemical producer Sahara Petrochemical Company announced on Sunday an emergency shutdown at its Al Waha Petrochemicals subsidiary, a producer of propylene and polypropylene (PP).

Saudi Arabian petrochemical producer Sahara Petrochemical Company announced on Sunday an emergency shutdown at its Al Waha Petrochemicals subsidiary, a producer of propylene and polypropylene (PP).

A technical fault in the utilities unit on the morning of August 17 caused production processes to be interrupted in all operating units at the plant in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Repairs are expected to take up to nine days, the company said.

Based on current polypropylene prices, this shutdown will cost the company almost 9 million riyals ($2.4 million) and there will be an impact on profit in the third quarter.

While production is on hold, Al Waha will take the opportunity to perform periodical maintenance. Customers will receive supplies from the standby reserves available in the company's warehouse.

Al Waha is a joint venture owned 75 percent by Sahara and 25 percent by LyondellBasell. Its main product is impact copolymer polypropylene, which is mainly used in injection molding applications and is sold by Al Waha both within the Middle East and in international markets.

Last month Sahara Petrochemicals reported a net profit of 284.9 million riyals for the six months ending June, 30 2014. That represents an increase of 13 percent from 252.1 million riyals in the corresponding period a year earlier.

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