MAASTRICHT, Netherlands—Arlanxeo is to supply EPDM rubber made at a petrochemicals site in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia, the synthetic rubber maker said in a statement released Feb. 5.
The EPDM grades will be produced at a 75,000-metric-ton per year plant within the integrated chemical complex operated by Petro Rabigh, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical.
Products from the EPDM unit, which is currently in start-up phase, will be supplied from the first half of this year, under a global sales and marketing agreement with Dhahran-based Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co.
Arlanxeo—a synthetic rubber JV between Lanxess and Saudi Aramco—will sell the new EPDM grades under its own Keltan trademark, with 'KSA' added to represent the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
"As producer, Petro Rabigh sets the specifications for [the Keltan KSA grades]. We supply material based on these specifications," an Arlanxeo spokeswoman said.
With regard to the duration of the sales and marketing agreement with Saudi Aramco Products Trading, Arlanxeo's representative said that the parties had agreed not to comment.
Asked about the process technology involved, the spokeswoman referred comment to Petro Rabigh, noting that Alanxeo "cannot comment on the technology used by other companies."
According to Arlanxeo's press statement, the deal will strategically expand its activities in the market for EPDM rubber materials. Keltan KSA will have "its own brand identity and positioning supported by a dedicated organization." according to Jasvinder Kaur, head of Keltan KSA.
The deal combines "Petro Rabigh manufacturing strength with Arlanxeo's global market expertise," Muhammad Al-Arfaj, vice president of Saudi Aramco Products Trading, said in the Arlanxeo release.
"Through this agreement, we are further strengthening Arlanxeo's position as the global supplier for synthetic rubbers in the world market," added Christian Widdershoven, Arlanxeo board member and head of the High Performance Elastomers division.
Petro Rabigh recently announced that it had achieved on-spec production at the units for cumene, phenol, methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)/isobutylene, metathesis, methyl methacrylate, naphtha reformer, polymethyl methacrylate, LDPE, thermoplastic olefin (TPO) and polyamide 6.
Production was expected to start at the aromatics and ethylene propylene rubber units in the first quarter of 2018—completing phase II of the venture's project to establish integrated production at the Petro Rabigh petrochemicals complex.