DUSSELDORF, Germany—Saudi Basic Industries Corp. is on schedule to bring on stream 400,000 metric tons of annual synthetic rubber capacity in 2015 to meet Middle Eastern demand, the company said at a news conference at the K Show in Dusseldorf.
"We are precisely on schedule," said Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, Sabic executive vice president for performance chemicals. "Premarketing has begun to selected clients. Our rationale is to build customer relationships before the rubber comes on stream."
Al-Rabeeah said Sabic will have a flawless commissioning and production start-up."
The plant is being built at the Al-Jubail Petrochemical Co. complex in Al-Jubail, which currently produces ethylene and polyethylene.
The company will make EPDM and polybutadiene rubbers at the site. Al-Rabeeah said production will be flexible, so no fixed proportion of the two rubbers is planned.
Sabic's substantial investment in assets ensures consistency of supply for its customers, the executive said, and the group's deep understanding of industry trends and challenges keeps its customers ahead of their competitors in meeting these.
With "huge" population growth in the Middle East, and the region around Saudi Arabia a major importer of rubber goods, Sabic sees particular potential in the automotive market—both tire and non-tire goods—and the construction sector.