SABIC picks Texas for potential project with Exxon Mobil

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Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) said on Wednesday it had agreed with an affiliate of Exxon Mobil to potentially build a petrochemical complex in Texas.

In a statement to the Saudi Tadawul stock exchange, SABIC said both companies were carrying out further studies, including technical and commercial estimations, before making an investment decision sometime in 2018.

It did not give an estimated cost of the project, but said an ethane cracker with an expected capacity of 1.8 million tons per year.

In an e-mailed statement, SABIC said the project with Exxon Mobil Chemical which would feed a monoethylene glycol unit and two polyethylene units reflects SABIC’s strategy to advance the company’s growth in key markets such as the United States.

SABIC, one of the world’s largest petrochemicals groups first said in 2016 it was studying whether to build the complex in Texas or Louisiana with an Exxon affiliate.

In January, SABIC’s CEO Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan said his company would probably make an announcement about the ethylene project in the second quarter of this year.

SABIC is keen to invest abroad to diversify its risks and improve its access to foreign markets. Al-Benyan said in January, the company was looking to make other US investments worth between $2.5 billion and $3 billion.

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