Saudi SABIC says evaluating bids for Ibn Rushd

* Decision on Ibn Rushd plant expansion bids by end-2010

* Yet to decide on join project with Exxonmobil Chemical

RIYADH, Oct 17 (BestGrowthStock) – Saudi Arabian Basic Industries
Corp (2010.SE: ) (SABIC) expects to decide by the end of this
year on bids for the expansion of its affiliate Arabian
Industrial Fibers Co (Ibn Rushd), its chief executive said on
Sunday.

Ibn Rushd’s complex in Yanbu, on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea
coast, produces aromatics, purified terephthalic acid (PTA)
which is used in making polyester, and polyester staples.

After the expansion, Ibn Rushd’s PTA capacity would rise to
700,000 tonnes per year (tpy) from 350,000 tpy currently.

The expansion would also increase output capacity of
polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to 750,000 tpy from 330,000
tpy as well as boost aromatics capacity to 600,000 tpy from
350,000 tpy. [ID:nLDE61D0B6]

The expansion comes as SABIC restructured the company and
introduced new products, Mohammed al Mady, chief executive
officer of SABIC told Reuters.

“We received the bids and we are analysing them. We expect
by the end of this year to reach a decision for this
investment,” Mady said.

SABIC benefits from access to cheap energy feedstock in the
world’s top oil exporter, giving it a competitive advantage
over global rivals.

Plans to build an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
plant at SABIC’s fully owned affiliate Petrokemya are ongoing
and not cancelled, Mady told reporters.

“At the time, the market was heating up, high cost for that
plant, so we reviewed the capacity,” Mady told reporters after
the company announced third-quarter earnings.

Like other petrochemical producers in the Gulf, SABIC would
want to have more gas supplies to expand its products
portfolio.

“We have to be realistic. The investment cycle takes time
to find the gas … SABIC is a global company we cannot wait
for the gas to come we have to do business either in
downstream, in innovation … until the gas is available,” he
said.

SABIC and U.S. ExxonMobil Chemical (FXON.PA: ) have not taken
a final decision yet to invest in the production of synthetic
rubber at their joint-ventures Yanpet and Kemya, Mady said.

An executive from ExxonMobil Chemical said last year the
plans would cost around $5 billion. [ID:nL694614]

“We are moving to the detailed feasibility study … we
have not reached final decision … (It is expected) some time
early next year,” Mady said.

SABIC continues to work with state oil giant Saudi Aramco
to identify joint-venture opportunities, Mady said.
(Reporting by Reem Shamseddine and Ulf Laessing; Editing by
Diane Craft)

Saudi SABIC says evaluating bids for Ibn Rushd