Kingdom showcases automotive capabilities to US companies

Updated 29 June 2013
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Kingdom showcases automotive capabilities to US companies

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) attended a conference in Detroit, Michigan hosted by the US Saudi Business Council and took part in a discussion on exploring opportunities for automotive manufacturers and expanding their reach into rapidly growing markets throughout the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
SABIC executives, led by Mohamed Al-Mady, vice chairman and CEO, joined a delegation of important dignitaries from the government and private industry in Saudi Arabia, including Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabiah; Abdullatif Al-Othman, governor and chairman of the board, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA); Alaa Nassif, executive president, Royal Commission at Yanbu; and Azzam Shalabi, president, National Industrial Clusters Development Program at the conference, with American business leaders, hosted by the US-Saudi Business Council.
The conference, entitled “Saudi Arabia: New Auto Market Hub for the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia,” focused on the benefits of investing in Saudi Arabia’s automotive industrial cluster, with the support of global technology solutions providers like SABIC, to achieve growth ambitions in these emerging markets. In Saudi Arabia alone, new passenger vehicle sales in 2012 increased by 18 percent over the previous year, according to a recent report by Business Monitor International.
“SABIC is committed to collaborating with its customers in the automotive industry, enabling innovation that drives growth,” said Al-Mady. “SABIC works closely with its customers to develop material and application solutions to help solve some of the industry’s toughest challenges, from enhancing design flexibility and safety, to introducing innovative new materials that help reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency.”
SABIC has worked with some of the world’s most prominent automotive brands, including Volkswagen, Land Rover, Fiat, Mitsubishi and Hyundai to help develop new products and reach consumers in emerging and growing automotive markets throughout South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The company has also invested significantly in two new polypropylene and engineering thermoplastics compounding facilities in Jubail to expand its automotive business.
In the initial phase, the engineering thermoplastics compounding plant will produce SABIC’s LEXAN, CYCOLOY, XENOY and VALOX resins. The polypropylene compounding plant will produce filled grades that will strengthen SABIC’s global footprint and serve customers in auto and non-auto sectors.
“SABIC has collaborated with OEMs around the world, listening, learning and providing our deep understanding of the automotive industry to help them achieve their ambitions,” said Al-Mady. “SABIC’s technology has the ability to deliver innovation to nearly every part of the automobile. From bumper to bumper, SABIC brings chemistry that matters to its customers, whether it’s through lightweight engineering thermoplastics or enhanced fuel additives.”
SABIC’s collaboration with Volkswagen on the XL1 concept diesel hybrid featured the first application of lightweight LEXAN polycarbonate (PC) side windows with advanced EXATEC plasma coating technology on a production automobile, replacing glass and helping significantly reduce the vehicle’s weight.
SABIC’s partnership with Land Rover on the development of the Range Rover Evoque extends back to the creation of the initial LRX concept vehicle. SABIC provided the automaker and its component providers with a range of high performance plastics products that reduced weight, improved aerodynamic performance and enhanced safety for the luxury SUV.
SABIC also worked with Nissan to provide lightweight NORYL resin for the terminal cover and spacer of the battery system for the new 2013 LEAF, the top selling electric vehicle in the world.


Saudi Aramco aims to buy controlling stake in SABIC: Sources

Updated 25 min 54 sec ago
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Saudi Aramco aims to buy controlling stake in SABIC: Sources

  • Riyadh-listed SABIC, the world’s fourth-biggest petrochemicals firm, has a market capitalization of 385.2 billion Saudi riyals
  • The potential acquisition would affect the time frame of Aramco’s planned initial public offering set for later this year

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco aims to buy a controlling stake in petrochemical maker SABIC, possibly taking the entire 70 percent stake owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Late last week Aramco confirmed a Reuters report that it was working on a possible purchase of a “strategic stake” in Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) from the Public Investment Fund, the kingdom’s top sovereign wealth fund.
Aramco’s initial thinking is to buy the full stake owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), but if that fails to materialize Aramco could end up with a stake in SABIC of more than 50 percent, making it a majority owner, the sources said.
No final decision has been made on the size of the stake as the discussions are still at a very early stage, they added.
Aramco declined to comment. The PIF did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Riyadh-listed SABIC, the world’s fourth-biggest petrochemicals firm, has a market capitalization of 385.2 billion Saudi riyals ($103 billion).
The potential acquisition would affect the time frame of Aramco’s planned initial public offering set for later this year, the state oil giant’s chief executive, Amin Nasser, said in a TV interview on Friday.
Aramco plans to boost investments in refining and petrochemicals to secure new markets and sees growth in chemicals as central to its downstream strategy to cut the risk of an oil demand slowdown.
Aramco plans to raise its refining capacity to between 8 million and 10 million barrels per day, from around 5 million bpd now, and double its petrochemicals production by 2030.
Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, pumps around 10 million bpd of crude oil.