RIYADH — The Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) has shipped its first consignment of ethanolamines and ethoxylates from its manufacturing plant in Jubail — Saudi Kayan — making Saudi Arabia the first ever country in the Middle East to produce and market these advanced products.
Ethoxylates are a family of surfactants used to make detergents, household cleaning products, shampoos and personal care products. They are also used widely in industry, in oilfield chemicals and lubricants, textile auxiliaries and agriculture.
Ethanolamines are a group of chemicals derived from ammonia and ethylene oxide used in consumer products, chemical intermediates and in industrial processes.
This marks the beginning of a new era for the Kingdom and the company in the production of specialty chemicals. The first shipment has gone to customers in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region. Ultimately customers across the globe will be served.
“This pioneering effort will strengthen our position in the performance chemicals segment, while establishing a platform for the competitiveness and growth of existing users of these materials in the region as well as entrants to the many new industries that can be established with these value added products and the world class services that Sabic brings,” said Koos Van Haasteren, Sabic Executive Vice President, Performance Chemicals.
“Thanks to the advanced facilities at Saudi Kayan, we hope to be a major supplier of solutions for our customers in Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region. In time, we hope to become an important global supplier of specialties for the production of detergents, personal care products, household and industrial cleaning agents, crop protection products, textile auxiliaries, cement processing chemicals, oilfield chemicals and more,” Van Haasteren said.
China is a key market for Sabic and around 40-50 percent of Saudi Kayan’s ethanolamines production will be supplied to the country, particularly diethanolamines (DEA) and triethanolamines (TEA).
China’s ethanolamines consumption was at around 366,000 tons in 2011, 65 percent of Asia’s total demand and one fifth of global consumption. Ethanolamines and ethoxylates, the two major derivatives of ethylene oxide (EO), account for 6 percent and 13 percent of the global EO consumption respectively. Ethylene glycol (EG) is the largest downstream product of EO, which takes 72 percent of EO consumption. — SG