FAIRLAWN, OHIO (Updated June 15, 10:35 a.m. ET) — A. Schulman Inc. is venturing into Saudi Arabia though a 50-50 joint venture with National Petrochemical Industrial Co. (NATPET).
Fairlawn-based Schulman is investing about $14 million in the JV, which will build a polypropylene compounding plant in
“Several aspects of this deal will accelerate A. Schulman's expansion and visibility in its priority growth markets of Africa,
The project “supports the Saudi government's program in developing downstream projects and adding value to the intermediary petrochemical production” in the country, NATPET president Jamal Maliakah added in the release.
Schulman previously had served customers in the Middle East from its plants in
NATPET operates almost 900 million pounds of combined capacity for PP and propylene feedstock at its plant in Yanbu. The site makes PP using Spheripol-brand technology licensed from Lyondell Basell Industries.
NATPET is based in
No production capacity or job totals were available for the new compounding plant. Compounds made there will be sold into automotive and other industrial applications.
Schulman – which ranks as one of
“This isn't only a geographic expansion,” spokesperson Jennifer Beeman said June 15. “It also allows us to play more profitably in the broader [PP] market at a more profitable pace, instead of just being a niche business.”