Sabic seeks joint ventures in China

Sabic Logo
Source: Sabic Logo

Sabic, the largest public company in Saudi Arabia, and the world’s second-biggest chemicals manufacturer after BASF, has expressed interest in tightening cooperation with China – according to the Saudi Gazette.

Sabic’s Chief Executive Officer Yousef Al Benyan was quoted as saying that: “We have more than three opportunities for joint ventures in China and we will announce them accordingly.”

The Saudi Government-controlled Sabic underwent a business restructuring in October 2015, that saw the absorption of the commodity chemicals produced under the Innovative Plastics SBU into the Chemicals and Polymers SBUs. Along with this, the Specialties SBU was created to house the remainder of the Innovative Plastics products that did not fall under the commodity umbrella and the Innovative Plastics SBU would cease to exist by January 1, 2016. This change follows the reallocation of the Performance Chemicals portfolio into the Chemicals SBU.

As a part of this restructuring the company is looking to enter joint ventures in the U.S. and China. Back in July, Yousef al Benyan, disclosed that the company is looking for American partners to enter into joint ventures with, similar to the one entered recently with the Texas-based Enterprise Products Partners L.P.

“Given the volatility in oil prices, we are looking at ways to optimize our feedstock production,” said Yousef Al Benyan.

While on on a visit to China last week Mr Al Benyan confirm his company’s interest in the country saying: “There are good prospects there, and hopefully we will be able to announce them in the first quarter next year.”

The company also announced this month that it is planning to trim down its 40,000-strong workforce, by announcing a cut of about 140 jobs while integrating some business units.

“The restructuring plans will also result in some redundancies in the US and will have the most impact on Europe,” Al Benyan said adding that the reorganization won’t affect the company’s operations in the Middle East.

Commenting on the company’s acquisition strategy in the current downturn, Mr Al Benyan said: “We are still very engaged in several opportunities in shale gas investments in the US. Current market conditions place some pressure on some of these investment opportunities, but in the long term these investment are feasible and we are hoping to announce some of these investments in the US next year.”

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