SINGAPORE—Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and South Korean petrochemical company SK Global Chemical have inaugurated their new high-performance polyethylene manufacturing plant.
The facility will manufacture a range of products using Nexlene solution technology.
The 50-50 joint venture, Sabic SK Nexlene Co., was established in July and is headquartered in Singapore. Its wholly owned subsidiary, Korea Nexlene Co., owns the plant in Ulsan, which has an annual capacity of 230,000 tons. The aggregate purchase price for the technology and plant is about $640 million, according to the firms.
The plant will produce metallocene linear low density polyethylene, polyolefin plastomers and polyolefin elastomers that will serve industries such as packaging, automotive, health care, footwear and electrical and lighting.
Sabic Chairman Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud, acting Vice Chairman Yousef Al-Benyan and Executive Vice Presidents Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh and Yousef Al-Zamel attended the ceremony. Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, SK Innovation CEO Chung Chul-Khil and SK Global Chemical CEO Cha Hwa-Youp represented SK.
“For Sabic, today's events represent a key milestone in our goal to develop groundbreaking technologies and innovations in partnership with global industry leaders like SK,” Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud said in a statement. “The cutting-edge Nexlene solution technology gives us confidence that we are offering a more advanced, high-value and unique customer-focused selection of products to the world.”
The companies said Nexlene will offer customers better performance, including excellent impact strength, enhanced toughness and superior transparency.
Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh, Sabic polymers executive vice president, said the new plant would enable both partners to grow in the highly specialized polyethylene market.
“The products that will be coming from this plant will provide high-value polymer products to global customers,” he said. “With Nexlene solution technology, Sabic now has access to the most complete polyethylene technology platforms within the petrochemical industry.”
Sabic and SK are slated to inaugurate a new research and development facility in Daejeon, South Korea. It will feature departments focusing on process development, as well as catalyst and product development. The center will sponsor and oversee research programs at universities and third party facilities in South Korea and around the world, according to the firms.
These new facilities mark the latest Sabic investments in manufacturing and research capabilities in the Far East after its partnership with the China Petrochemical Corp. and the Sabic Technology Center in Shanghai, which was inaugurated in 2013.