LyondellBasell Industries and King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST), currently under construction near Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, recently announced signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly pursue research and development programs in chemical catalysis. Under the MOU, the researchers at KAUST facilities will collaborate with LyondellBasell's industry-leading technology resources to develop new, more efficient catalyst systems for the production of fuels and basic chemicals. According to Massimo Covezzi, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at LyondellBasell, "We are impressed with KAUST's scientific potential, the bold scale of its capabilities, and the speed at which it is working to establish research capabilities for the future. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration, and by working together with KAUST, we are confident that we will be able to accelerate the pace of our catalysis developments."
LyondellBasell is involved in three joint ventures located in Al-Jubail Industrial City including Saudi Polyolefins Company (SPC), Saudi Ethylene and Polyethylene Company (SEPC), and Al-Waha Petrochemical Company. In 2009, LyondellBasell claims it will market nearly 2 mln tons of innovative polyolefins from the Middle East based on the company's leading process technologies. In addition to a 450,000 tpa propane dehydrogenation unit, SPC operates a 720,000 tpa polypropylene plant. SEPC has already initiated its world-scale 1 mln tpa mixed-feed steam cracker and a 400,000 tpa Hostalen ACP process HDPE plant, and is in the final stage of starting up a 400,000 tpa Lupotech T process LDPE unit. Both PE units, the company says, will be the largest of their kind in the world. Al-Waha is in the final stage of starting up a 450,000 tpa propane dehydrogenation unit that will feed a 450,000 tpa Spherizone process PP plant, which will be the largest of its kind in the world.