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CHINA: SABIC to keep investing in China; CEO says the country remains firm's top market as demand for products keeps rising
  English.dicp.cas.cn    Posted:2016-05-03    From:S&T Department

SABIC, the Middle East's largest petrochemical company, said that it will continue to invest in China despite the economic slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.

"There are some signs showing the Chinese economy is slowing down, but it is still our fastest-growing market, so we will keep our investment here, especially in research and development," Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan, vice-chairman and chief executive officer of the Saudi company, told the China Daily. He said while some industries are suffering as a result of overcapacity in the past few years, China's petrochemical industry, on the other hand, plays a key role in driving the global market. "We have seen growing demand for petrochemical products from many sectors including construction, healthcare, electronics and packaging," he said, adding that innovation and low efficiency are bigger issues for the industry than overcapacity.

China's petrochemical sector will grow by 8.8 percent this year, according to estimates by the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association, much higher than the global rate of just 3 percent.

To promote innovation in the sector, SABIC has signed a cooperation agreement with Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, a research institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and China National Petroleum Corp, for the research of catalyst and development of conversion of methane into olefins, aromatics and hydrogen. The technology will enable chemical products to be made from natural gas in a more efficient and greener way.

In 2014, SABIC established a USD640 million joint venture with South Korean petrochemical producer SK Global Chemical for the production of polyethylene products. The South Korea-based plant will have a capacity of 230,000 metric tons of polyethylene per year.

Al-Benyan said the partnership with SK chemicals is not only targeting the South Korean market but also serves as a springboard to serve the Chinese market.

"We will explore opportunities in converting coal to chemicals at the same time," he said. The company has 1,300 employees in China with 18 offices, three plants in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing, a joint venture with Sinopec-China's largest petroleum refiner and oil products producer in Tianjin-at a total cost of 18.3 billion yuan and one research center in Shanghai.(Xinhua)

 

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