DUSSELDORF, GERMANY - Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the giant Saudi Arabian industrial conglomerate, is expanding its presence as a plastics supplier in Europe with three new, regional marketing companies. Sabic derived sales of nearly 2 billion riyals ($533 million) in 1994 from its plastics groups. About 16 percent of those sales came from Europe, making Europe Sabic's third-largest market after domestic sales in Saudi Arabia and sales to other Middle Eastern countries.
Abdullah Nojaidi, president of Sabic Marketing Limited, said at a K'95 news conference in Dusseldorf that his company hopes to expand its sales to Europe through the new marketing companies in Essen, Germany; Milan, Italy; and Paris. Sabic has managed its European marketing efforts from headquarters in London for the past 18 months.
Nojaidi said he hopes the new offices will help his company to keep its growing sales in pace with the growth of domestic economies in Germany, Italy and France.
Nojaidi chronicled his company's production expansions, saying he believes Sabic is the only major resin producer in the world to offer all five major volume thermoplastics - polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC, polystyrene and PET.
He added that Sabic expects to begin production of low density polyethylene by the end of 1997. Sabic is coming late to the production of LDPE, he said, because it developed other resins first and the demand for LDPE was not great domestically or in the Middle East.
Sabic does not have a role in North America, but sees its primary markets as the Middle East, Europe and Asia, Nojaidi said.
Sabic recently launched its 16th manufacturing affiliate company - the Arabian Industrial Fibers Co. at Ibn Rushd, Arabia - and that affiliate put 88 million pounds of capacity for PET into production in September, Nojaidi said.
The firm is targeting that PET capacity for domestic packaging applications, such as film, sheet and bottles. Separately, that facility has the capacity to produce 200 billion pounds of PET fibers for textiles and carpets, and for filament yarns, he said.
With its expansions of resin capacities, Nojaidi said Sabic is fostering a large and varied downstream plastic processing industry in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East, including recycling technologies.
Nojaidi said Sabic expects worldwide demand for polymers to grow at a rate of 11/2 times that of the world economy over the next five years, with linear low density leading the volume thermoplastics by growing at a rate of 10.5 percent a year through 2000.