SAUDI ARABIA: Sabic to build a plastic research facility at KSU

The Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) on 1 Dec. 2010 signed a construction contract with El Seif Engineering Contracting Company to build a new SABIC Plastics Application Development Center (SPADC) at the Riyadh Techno Valley research complex at the King Saud University (KSU) campus in Riyadh.

The new facility will include an area of some 80,000 square meters, including about 43,000 square meters of building space.

Abdulrahman Al-Ubaid, executive vice president of technology and innovation, signed the accord on behalf of SABIC while Khaled bin Masa'ad El Seif, chief executive officer of El Seif, inked the agreement on behalf of his company.

During the ceremony, the audience viewed graphic representations of the new facility design and were briefed on a variety of applications under development, such as automobile bumpers, body panels, stadium seats and others.

Among those present at the signing ceremony included Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud, chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu and chairman of Sabic; Prince Faisal Al-Saud, adviser to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources; Abdullah A. Al-Othman, rector of King Saud University; Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC vice chairman and CEO.

"The project reflects the close cooperation between Sabic and various Saudi universities, including King Saud University. It is also part of SABIC's 2020 strategy, which emphasizes the importance of scientific research to serve industries and the process of innovation and for the creation of new industries," said Prince Saud.

Al-Mady said this center will support the continued expansion of Sabic's new product portfolio, especially in the areas of packaging, automotive materials and compounding. He indicated that the new research facility will support the growth of downstream industries. "The Center will collaborate with customers in developing new plastic applications and provide technical support to Sabic's local and international customers," he added.

The center,estimated to cost SR475 million, will be equipped with more than 300 state-of-the-art items of special research equipment to be operated by more than 150 expert researchers.(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)