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Dow and SABIC Announce Start Up of World’s Largest UNIPOL™ PP Train


Midland, MI and Al Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - Dow Technology Licensing, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated affiliates (Dow), and Saudi European Petrochemical Co. (IBN ZAHR), a Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) Joint Venture, announced the start-up of the world’s single largest polypropylene (PP) train. The facility is located in Al Jubail Industrial City on the Persian Gulf Coast and uses UNIPOLTM Polypropylene Process Technology to manufacture homopolymers and random copolymers. Nameplate capacity is 500 thousand metric tons of PP resins per year.

The start-up is the third facility at the IBN ZAHR-SABIC JV in Al Jubail to employ the UNIPOL PP Process. With this facility and another being built in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, SABIC will have nearly 1.8 million metric tons of annual capacity using UNIPOL™ PP Process Technology.

“We are excited to share the news of this success with SABIC,” said Dr. Molly Peifang Zhang, business vice president of Dow Technology Licensing. “The IBN ZAHR facility has been operating with UNIPOL PP Process for over 12 years and achieving this milestone with a long-term partner shows that our technology continues to bring value to our customers and allows us to meet the needs of their operation no matter the scope or size.”

The UNIPOL™ PP Process Technology is a gas-phase process for producing the broadest range of polypropylene resins. Its simple design is both reliable and energy efficient, requiring no equipment for handling, separating or recycling solvents. When this plant and others currently in the execution stage enter service, UNIPOL™ PP Process Technology will be used to produce nearly 11 million metric tons of polypropylene per year, which will represent more than 16 percent of total global capacity.


Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) is one of the world’s five largest petrochemicals manufacturers. The company is among the world’s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers. SABIC’s profit rose to a record SR 27 billion (US$ 7.2 billion) in 2007, a 33% increase over 2006. Sales revenues for 2007 totaled SR 126.2 billion (US$ 33.7 billion), the highest revenues achieved by the company since its inception. Total assets stood at SR 256 billion (US$ 68.3 billion) at the end of 2007.

SABIC operates six interlinked strategic business units: Basic Chemicals, Intermediates, Specialty Products, Polymers, Fertilizers and Metals. In 2007 SABIC Innovative Plastics was launched as a global manufacturer and supplier of highly engineered thermoplastics. SABIC has significant research resources and has 16 dedicated Research and Technology and application centers in the Middle East, the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The company operates in more than 40 countries across the world with over 31,000 employees worldwide.

In Saudi Arabia, the company has 19 world-scale complexes located in the industrial cities of Al-Jubail and Yanbu. Some of these complexes are operated with multi-national joint venture partners such as ExxonMobil, Shell and Mitsubishi Chemicals. SABIC manufactures on a global scale in more than 45 sites in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. SABIC’s overall production has increased from 27 million metric tons in 2001 to 55 million metric tons in 2007.

Headquartered in Riyadh, SABIC was founded in 1976 when the Saudi Arabian Government decided to use the hydrocarbon gases associated with its oil production as the principal feedstock for production of chemicals, polymers and fertilizers. The Saudi Arabian Government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares with the remaining 30 percent held by private investors in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

About Dow

With annual sales of $54 billion and 46,000 employees worldwide, Dow is a diversified chemical company that combines the power of science and technology with the “ Human Element ” to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. The Company delivers a broad range of products and services to customers in around 160 countries, connecting chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.

About Dow Technology Licensing

Dow Technology Licensing (DTL) is a business unit of Dow that markets technologies owned by The Dow Chemical Company, Union Carbide Corporation and their subsidiaries. DTL offers a portfolio of leading process and catalyst technologies to the petrochemical industry around the world. Our focus on research and development ensure the long term competitive advantages of our customers. The local dedicated client teams and technical resources provide timely comprehensive services to our customers. More information about Dow Technology Licensing can be found at

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