Materials giant LyondellBasell Industries is acquiring a 35 percent stake in Saudi Arabia-based National Petrochemical Industrial Co. (NATPET) from Alujain Corp. for $500 million.
In a Jan. 16 news release, officials with LyondellBasell in Houston said the deal positions their firm to grow and upgrade its core polypropylene resin business through access to advantaged feedstocks, plus additional product marketing capacity in a strategic region.
NATPET operates almost 900 million pounds of annual PP production capacity in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. Officials said closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory and other closing conditions.
LBI and Alujain also are assessing potential construction of a new propylene via propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit and PP facility in Yanbu. That project is subject to a final investment decision and is being studied with a shared goal for solutions that align with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's 2060 carbon reduction strategy.
Alujain is majority owner of NATPET and is a longtime licensee of LBI's Spheripol-brand PP production technology, which it uses in Yanbu.
For LBI, the investment in NATPET "reflects our strategy of growing and upgrading our core around assets and businesses with lasting advantages," LBI CEO Peter Vanacker said. "We are pleased to invest in this joint venture, which leverages LYB's technology, leading global market positions and Alujain's proven operational excellence," he added.
Alujain "welcomes the opportunity to deepen our ties with [LBI], first as licensee and now as joint venture partner," said Alujain Chairman Mohammed Bin Saleh AlKhalil.
LBI is a major global supplier of polyethylene and PP resins. The firm posted sales of $50.5 billion in 2021. Its Advanced Polymer Solutions unit ranks as North America's largest compounder.