In a long-anticipated move, Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Sinopec, have agreed to build a $1.7 billion joint venture plant in Tianjin that will make polyethylene and ethylene glycol.
Both companies will own half of the venture, which will draw ethylene from a cracker operated by Tianjin Petrochemical Corp., a unit of Beijing-based Sinopec.
The plant will have annual capacity to produce 1.3 billion pounds of PE and 882 million of ethylene glycol. It is scheduled to begin operating in September 2009.
Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud, chairman of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based Sabic, said in a news release: ``The new joint venture with Sinopec will further strengthen the links between our two companies.
``This will be Sabic's first joint venture in China and we hope this will lead to more joint ventures and a strong relationship with Sinopec in the important China market.''
Sinopec engineers currently are helping to construct a polyolefins complex in Saudi Arabia for Sabic affiliate Yanbu National Petrochemicals Co. of Yanbu, China.