Saudi Basic Industries Corp. is expanding its research and development operations in Selkirk, N.Y.
Work on the project will begin later this summer, with completion expected in mid-2019, spokesperson Shelia Naab said in an email to Plastics News. The expansion will include a 10,000-square-foot warehouse for raw materials storage, 10,000 square feet of office space and 2,500 square feet of manufacturing space for formulation, blending, and testing.
Sabic, a materials firm based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with North American headquarters in Houston, essentially is renovating existing buildings and adding a warehouse space for raw materials, Naab said. The firm also is relocating and combining its R&D for LNP-brand compounds and Noryl-brand polyphenylene ether resins at the Selkirk site.
Some of this work previously was done at a Sabic site in Exton, Pa. The firm last year announced that it would be moving this work to Selkirk.
The Selkirk site will add 15-20 employees as a result of the project, mainly by transferring workers from Exton. Employees making the move include PhD-level scientists.
The expansion also includes adding state-of-the art R&D equipment, labs and the raw materials warehouse for raw materials at this site, according to Naab. Sabic is not disclosing the amount it is spending on the project.
"Sabic has designated the Americas region as a focus of future growth plans, capitalizing on three key aspects, one being innovation," officials said in a statement. The Selkirk site "plays a key role" in innovation due to its global research and development center, global color formulation technology, and product offerings, they added.
Officials also said that the expansion "allows us to expand our technical capabilities in areas of polymer processing, testing, and product development so that we can drive innovation to important U.S. industries as clean energy, medical devices, and automotive."
"We feel that bringing the employees together in one location will drive collaboration, inspire creativity, and drive innovation for our customers," they added.
Sabic already has announced several expansion projects this year, including plans to build a new U.S. headquarters in Katy, Texas, near Houston, and finalizing a joint venture to build a new petrochemicals site — including polyethylene resin — with ExxonMobil Chemical Co. in San Patricio County, Texas.
Elsewhere in the United States, Sabic will make incremental additions of capacity for Ultem and Noryl in Selkirk and in Mount Vernon, Ind., by the end of 2018.
Sabic is also making major capacity additions for Ultem polyetherimide resins in Singapore and Noryl resins in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands. The Noryl project will be up and running by the end of 2019, while the Ultem capacity will be added in the first half of 2021.
Globally, Sabic is a major supplier of polyethylene, polycarbonate and other commodity and engineering resins. The firm employs more than 34,000 and posted sales of almost $40 billion in 2017.