Sabic to invest $1.37bn in UK plant as it aims to cut emissions

Riyadh-based company targets carbon neutrality by 2050

Sabic has manufacturing units across the globe, including in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific. AFP
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Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), the Middle East’s largest petrochemicals company, will invest nearly £1 billion ($1.37bn) at its Teesside unit in north-east England as it aims to reduce emissions and become carbon neutral by 2050.

The investment would include strengthening operations at Teesside and enabling its chemical cracker transformation, the company said.

"This will reduce its carbon footprint by up to 60 per cent in phase one, making it one of the world’s lowest carbon-emitting crackers," Sabic said. “In the second phase, a carbon neutrality feasibility study will be undertaken via the use of hydrogen as a fuel source.”

Sabic has manufacturing units across the globe including in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific. It produces chemicals, commodity and high-performance plastics, agri-nutrients and metals. The company’s total production reached 60.8 million metric tonnes in 2020.

The Riyadh-based company aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide by 20 per cent by 2030 compared to 2018 and aims to become carbon neutral by 2050, it said.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil-exporting company, which has a 70 per cent stake in Sabic, also announced plans to become carbon neutral by 2050 in line with the kingdom’s goals to cut emissions to protect the environment earlier this week. The kingdom has set a target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2060.

“Sabic is already contributing to the Circular Carbon Economy through a range of landmark developments, including plastic chemical recycling, renewable energy deployment and its operation of the world’s largest CO2 capture and purification plant in Jubail," it said.

The company also plans to establish “the world’s first large-scale chemical site to operate on 100 per cent renewable power.”

Sabic on Thursday reported a five-fold increase in third-quarter net profit as revenue rose 29.3 per cent to 43.7bn Saudi riyals ($11.65bn) on the back of higher average selling prices.

The company also started commissioning activities and is preparing to start its joint venture project with energy major ExxonMobil in the US Gulf Coast, it said last month.

The project includes the establishment of an ethylene production unit with an annual capacity of about 1.8 million tonnes, which will feed two polyethylene units and a monoethylene glycol unit.

Updated: October 28, 2021, 12:42 PM