Evonik Industries and Saudi Acrylic Acid Company (SAAC) have established a joint venture called Saudi Acrylic Polymers Company (SAPCo) for the production of superabsorbents. SAAC is a joint venture of the Saudi companies National Industrialization Company (Tasnee) and Sahara Petrochemicals. The production facility with the capacity of 80,000 metric tpa is scheduled to begin production in late 2013. The total investment will be in the triple-digit million Euro range. The EPC-contract will be assigned to Fluor. The SAPCo superabsorbent production is part of a new acrylic acid and derivative complex on the Tasnee premises of the Al Jubail Chemical Park in Saudi Arabia and will benefit from favorably priced propylene feedstock from the adjacent cracking facility operated jointly by Tasnee, Sahara and Lyondell Basell.
"This is an important step for our Group in the Middle East growth market and will significantly boost our leading position for superabsorbents," said Wohlhauser, the Evonik Executive Board member responsible for the Consumer, Health & Nutrition reporting segment. The joint venture will be equipped with state-of-the-art Evonik superabsorbent technology and will benefit from the advantageous local source materials supply. The acrylic acid for the production of superabsorbents will come from an adjoining SAMCO facility. SAMCO is a joint venture of SAAC and Dow Chemicals. "This is the first superabsorbent production plant in the region. We will provide our customers with our usual high-quality, up-to-date technology to serve the growing market of the Middle East. Together with our Saudi partners, we are closing the supply chain from oil to diaper production in Saudi Arabia," noted Claus Rettig, the Head of the Evonik Consumer Specialties Business Unit.