x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Capital to house petrochemicals giant

Abu Dhabi has officially launched a company to oversee the development of the world's largest petrochemicals complex.

A plant at giant Saudi Arabian petrochemicals group Sabic: Abu Dhabi plans a similar venture as part of its industrial diversification drive.
A plant at giant Saudi Arabian petrochemicals group Sabic: Abu Dhabi plans a similar venture as part of its industrial diversification drive.

Abu Dhabi has officially launched the company that will oversee the development of the world's largest petrochemicals complex, the first phase of which is expected to cost up to US$20 billion (Dh73.46bn), the state news agency, WAM, reported. The emirate is on a drive to diversify its economy away from its dependence on oil, which includes establishing complimentary industries and ancillary services. The petrochemical development will fall under a new state-owned company, Abu Dhabi National Chemicals Company, or Chemaweyaat, which was set up after a decree by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, the President of the UAE, with initial capital of Dh500 million. International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), will take 40 per cent, Abu Dhabi Investment Council is to have 40 per cent and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company 20 per cent of the firm. "A strategic decision has been taken to accelerate the emirate's investments in the chemical industry" by establishing the company, Chemaweyaat said on its website. The company said it had been entrusted to develop Chemaweyaat Industrial City, an integrated chemicals development to be located in the new Mina Khalifa Industrial Zone in Abu Dhabi's Taweelah area. Citing "industry specialists", it said the first phase of the project, slated to begin production in 2013 or 2014, would require $15bn to $20bn of investment. Last month, the Chemaweyaat consortium members selected WorleyParsons, an Australian firm, to conduct preliminary engineering for the project. Chemaweyaat said the completed development would produce a range of chemicals and have capacity to export more than six million tonnes per year. The company said it was in discussions to attract joint venture partners and on planning for future projects. Implementing a master plan for Chemaweyaat Industrial City would start soon, with the involvement of Abu Dhabi Ports Company, it said. IPIC has said it planned to use the expertise of MAN Ferrostaal, a German industrial engineering firm in which it recently acquired a 70 per cent interest, to help build the chemicals complex. Taweelah is already the site of a new port, aluminium smelter and steel plant. According to WAM, Chemaweyaat will be set up with Dh500 million of capital. Its first task would be to develop a multibillion-dollar naphtha unit for the chemicals complex, the agency said. tcarlisle@thenational.ae