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Al-Faqeer ... living up to expectations

Al-Faqeer ... living up to expectations

CRT completion a big triumph for Sadara


By K S Sreekumar

Sadara Chemical Company, a ‘game changer’ in the chemical industry, has safely and successfully completed the Creditors Reliability Test, or CRT, a monitored exercise to show the company’s financial backers that it is capable of running all its market facing plants in excess of 90 per cent of design rates for a period of at least 60 days.

Sadara CEO Dr Faisal Al-Faqeer rates the CRT as Sadara’s top achievement of 2018 when it was completed on December 17.

"Successful completion of this test means that Sadara has entered a "business as usual" mode, demonstrating to its lenders that our Jubail chemical complex can operate and produce products as promised. We are very proud of the performance of our workforce in this regard. It is extremely rare for a company to pass this kind of test on the first official run, as Sadara did," Dr Al-Faqeer tells OGN in an exclusive interview.

To a question on reports of Sadara’s expansion, he says: "With all successful industrial enterprises, there is the possibility of future expansion. But we have nothing to share with you on this subject at this time."

A joint venture of Saudi Aramco and The Dow Chemical Company, Sadara Chemical Company has created the world’s largest chemical complex ever built in a single phase.

Sadara produces high-performance plastics and speciality chemicals that meet the needs of the growing middle class in Saudi Arabia (not to mention other growth regions). Many of these products have never been produced in-kingdom before, and they provide a stimulus for the growth of new industries in Saudi Arabia. Coupled with this is Sadara’s collaboration with the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu in development of PlasChem Park, an industrial zone next-door to Sadara’s chemical complex that offers numerous advantages for new industries, not the least of which are available infrastructure, choice location and easy access to feedstock, he says.

Sadara handles marketing and sales of its products in the Middle East Zone, or MEZ, consisting of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Palestine. Sadara has contracted one of its parent companies, Dow Chemical, as the exclusive marketer for its products consumed outside of the MEZ. These exports are generally shipped via Dow distribution hubs: EU (Antwerp/Tarragona), FEA (Singapore/Dongguan/Ulsan), Turkey (Gebze), Dubai-Kandla range and South Africa (Durban). There are no plans at present to modify this arrangement.

Talking about challenges, Dr Al-Faqeer says: "Clearly there were many challenges involved in constructing the world’s largest chemical complex ever built in a single phase and assuring the efficient and effective integration of its 26 plants."

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