Saudi Organometallic Chemicals Company (SOCC), a 50-50 joint venture between Saudi Specialty Chemicals Company, a manufacturing affiliate of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), and Albemarle Netherlands BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Albemarle Corporation, has started up its aluminium alkyls facility in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The facility will manufacture 6,000 metric tons annually of tri-ethyl aluminium (TEA), used as a co-catalyst in the plastics industry. An ultra-low hydride grade of TEA (TEA-ULH) will also be produced at the SOCC plant.
The new facility will have the ability to meet the growing needs for TEA and ULH-TEA in the region. TEA is a Ziegler Natta co-catalyst used in the plastics industry.
Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO, commented, “The SOCC start-up is yet another milestone in SABIC’s growth strategy in a highly competitive plastics market. We once again demonstrate our commitment to stimulate national economic growth, and build long-term relationships with our global customers.”
Luke Kissam, CEO of Albemarle Corporation, expressed his company’s commitment to expand into the Middle East region. “Together with SABIC, we are bringing the production of our value-added products closer to the end-user. Successful expansions into high-growth regions such as Jubail also support our strategy for smart, sustainable growth.”
Alfred Thomas Saurage Sr, Executive General Manager, SOCC, said, “This state-of-the-art facility clearly demonstrates SOCC’s commitment to providing a dependable supply of these essential products to the Middle East. This is a great achievement for our team and a true testament to the power of collaboration.”
The first batch of TEA, which was successfully completed in mid-April, met or exceeded all commercial specifications. There were no environmental or safety incidents incurred during the entire construction and start-up phase of the project.