Complex Made Simple

SABIC and SK Global Chemical inaugurates new industrial plant

New industrial and research facilities underscore the commitment of SABIC and SK to groundbreaking innovation, the opening of new markets and the future of the Korean economy

SABIC and the Korean petrochemical company, SK Global Chemical, inaugurated a new industrial plant to manufacture a range of high-performance polyethylene products using the cutting-edge Nexlene Solution Technology.

Today’s ceremony was attended by SABIC Chairman Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud and Acting Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Officer Yousef A. Al-Benyan and Executive Vice Presidents Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh and Yousef Al-Zamel.

SK was represented by Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, SK Innovation CEO Chung Chul-Khil, and Cha Hwa-youp, SK Global Chemical CEO. Also in attendance were Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Yoon Sang-jick and Ulsan Mayor Kim Gi-hyeon.

“This magnificent new industrial facility will enhance the petrochemical industries through innovating world unique solutions utilizing Nexlene technology,” said Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan al Saud.

“Through this cutting-edge technology we will be able to meet our customers’ needs around the world, through a more advanced, high value, and unique, customer-focused selection of products.”

The 50-50 joint venture holding company, SABIC SK Nexlene Company (SSNC) was established last July and is headquartered in Singapore. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Korea Nexlene Company (KNC), owns the plant in Ulsan, which has an annual capacity of 230,000 tons. The aggregate purchase price for the technology and plant is approximately USD 640 million.

The plant will produce metallocene linear low density polyethylene (mLLDPE), polyolefin plastomers (POP) and polyolefin elastomers (POE) that will meet the growing needs of diverse industries such as advanced packaging, automotive, healthcare, footwear and electrical & lighting.

“We are very pleased to take this latest step in our partnership with SK Global Chemical, which further expands SABIC’s presence worldwide,” said Yousef Al-Benyan, SABIC’s Acting Vice Chairman and CEO. “This new plant symbolizes our determination to open new markets and underscores our position as a global leader – a major goal of our 2025 strategy.”

Nexlene will offer customers better performance – including excellent impact strength, enhanced toughness, superior transparency, and much more.

These unique properties and characteristics of products using Nexlene technology offer a range of possibilities for the development of innovative product and differentiated applications.

– The packaging industry will benefit from mLLDPE to manufacture flexible food packaging and wrapping materials.

– The exceptional heat-sealing properties of POP will improve a variety of packaging products that require low temperature sealing, adhesion, and optics.

– Industries that require elasticity will also see important advantages from POE. These include the automotive industry, consumer products like footwear, and wire and cable for the utility and construction industries.

Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh, SABIC Polymers Executive Vice President, said the new plant would enable both partners to grow in the highly specialized polyethylene market.

“The products that will be coming from this plant will provide high-value polymer products to global customers,” he said. “With Nexlene solution technology, SABIC now has access to the most complete polyethylene technology platforms within the petrochemical industry.”

In addition to the new manufacturing facility, SABIC and SK will tomorrow inaugurate a new state of the art research and development facilities in Daejon.

It will feature departments focusing on process development, as well as catalyst and product development. The center will also sponsor and oversee research programs at universities and third party facility, in Korea and around the world.

These new facilities mark the latest SABIC investments in manufacturing and research capability in the Far East after its partnership with the China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) and the SABIC Technology Center in Shanghai, inaugurated in 2013.

Mohammed Al-Motawa
General Manager
Global Media CoE