Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and Mitsubishi Rayon Co. have formed a 50-50 joint venture to build and operate two plants in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, to produce methyl methacrylate (MMA) and polymethylmethacrylate.
The companies said the MMA plant will be the largest ever built, with an annual capacity of 551 million pounds. It will use Lucite International's Alpha technology, which was first commercialized with its Singapore plant in 2008. Mitsubishi bought Lucite in 2009.
The PMMA plant will have capacity to make 88 million pounds per year.
Koos Van Haasteren, Sabic's executive vice president for performance chemicals, said the JV will mark Sabic's strategic entry into the acrylics business.
“We will be building on a breakthrough technology, with a strong partnership and integrated feedstock,” he said. “Moreover, the global market for MMA is growing at a rapid pace. New applications are driving this increase in demand and we are committed to meeting our customer-growth requirements worldwide.”
Mitsubishi Rayon President Masanao Kambara said the partnership “will help us to meet long-term supply commitments to our MMA and PMMA customers. As the global leader we have a responsibility to ensure reliability of supply, and this investment will enable us to deliver continuous improvement.”
The companies said the venture will help diversify Saudi Arabia's industrial sector, creating new opportunities in the downstream industries such as construction, automotive, electronics, medical technologies and appliances.