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Albemarle and SABIC to Build Organometallics Plant

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 10/27/2009, Location: Middle East

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Albemarle Corporation, a global leader in the production of innovative specialty catalysts, announced that it will form a 50/50 joint venture with Ibn Hayyan Plastic Products Company (TAYF), an affiliate of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), called Saudi Organometallic Chemicals Company (SOCC). Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, the two parent companies will build a world-scale organometallics production facility strategically located in the Arabian Gulf Industrial City of Al-Jubail.

SOCC will be the first company of its kind to produce these products in the region. The construction of the plant is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2009 with start-up anticipated by early 2012.

The new facility will have the capacity to produce 6,000 metric tons of tri-ethyl aluminum equivalents annually. Tri-ethyl aluminum is used primarily as a co-catalyst in Ziegler-Natta type systems for olefin polymerizations. The manufacturing joint venture will be established and uniquely positioned to ensure the effective delivery of tri-ethyl aluminum to the region's growing customer base.

Mark C. Rohr, chairman and chief executive officer of Albemarle said, "We are excited to bring this enabling technology to the Middle East and we are equally pleased to be doing so in partnership with SABIC, one of the world's leading chemical companies. This new world-scale production unit will help us safely and efficiently serve our customers while also providing a foundation for Albemarle to capitalize on other opportunities emerging in the region."

SABIC vice chairman and chief executive officer, Mohamed Al-Mady said, "This joint venture represents another step in our vision to become the preferred world leader in chemicals. Moreover, this facility will provide strategically needed security for the supply of tri-ethyl aluminum catalyst, which is critically required for our multi-billion dollar polyolefins industry."

Albemarle is a recognized leader in innovative organometallics technology with a longstanding reputation for superior product quality and reliability. The new SOCC joint venture and organometallics facility will further Albemarle's mission to expand its global footprint and promote the highest standards in health, safety and environmental practices while delivering value to its all of its stakeholders.

"The new joint venture facility will feature Albemarle's state-of-the-art technology, proprietary safety expertise and premier logistical stewardship that are trademarks of our reputation as a respected leader in the global organometallics market," said Amy Motto, division vice president of Albemarle's polyolefin catalyst group.

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