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Sadara Loss Widens as Start-up of $20 Billion Complex Continues

NEWS

Sadara, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical, today reported a larger second-quarter net loss as the company continues to ramp up operations at the $20 billion petchems complex at Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

Net loss in the second quarter reached 1.59 billion Saudi riyals ($423.8 million). This compares with a net loss of SR1.49 billion in the year-earlier quarter. Sales revenue in the second quarter was SR1.31 billion compared with SR196million in the second quarter of 2016. Sales in the first half of the year amounted to SR2.17 billion compared with SR294 million in the first half of 2016.

Sadara cites start-up and ramping up costs at the integrated facilities as the main reasons for the increase in second-quarter net loss. The company recently commissioned several of its 26 chemical plants, including a two-train polyols complex with a combined capacity of 400,000 metric tons/year. The company has also recently brought on stream a propylene oxide (PO) complex with capacity of 390,000 metric ton/year PO. Last month it also started commercial production at its amines plant comprising two separate units with combined capacity of 208,000 metric tons/year designed to produce ethanolamines and ethyleneamines.

Earlier this year, Sadara started up a 70,000-metric ton/year propylene glycol plant, a 200,000-metric tons/year butyl glycol ether unit, and a 400,000-metric tons/year polymeric methylene di-para-phenylene isocyanate (PMDI) complex.

In April, Sadara started up its fourth and final polyethylene (PE) unit, the 350,000 metric tons/year low-density polyethylene (LDPE) train. The facility joined two identical 375,000-metric tons/year solution-process linear LDPE plants, able to produce LLDPE and/or high-density PE, and an elastomers train, which came onstream earlier. All four trains are based on Dow’s technology, including its solution LLDPE process. The polyolefin elastomers facility, producing a very low-density form of PE and the first such plant in Saudi Arabia, is designed to produce either 220,000 metric tons/year when using metallocene, or 250,000 metric tons/year when based on Ziegler Natta catalysts. The units receive their feedstock from aTechnip-process mixed-feed cracker, designed to produce 1.5 million metric tons/year of ethylene and 400,000 metric tons/year propylene, which was commissioned last year.