Sabic-Sinopec T&T petrochemical project moves ahead

The Ministry of Energy of Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) will begin talks with a consortium of Sabic and Sinopec on two planned petrochemical plants in the country, according to Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine.

"Cabinet has authorised the Ministry of Energy, together with the National Gas Company and the National Energy Corporation, to enter into negotiations and discussions with Sabic and Sinopec for the establishment of a methanol-to-petrochemicals and methanol-to-olefins complex in T&T," the Trinidad Guardian reports Ramnarine as saying.

Sabic and Sinopec are planning to build a methanol-to-petrochemicals and methanol-to-olefins complex with an investment of $5.3bn.

The process of selecting the successful bidders will be evaluated by a team consisting of members of staff of the Ministry of Energy, the National Energy Corporation and the National Gas Company, according to the Energy Minister.

The cabinet approval to hold discussions with the consortium has come despite concerns raised by the US Ambassador to Trinidad about the selection process.

Sabic and Sinopec are also involved in a 50-50 joint venture (JV), Sabic Tianjin Petrochemical, which operates a petrochemical complex at Tianjin, China.

The JV is broadening the complex by adding a 260,000tpa polycarbonate plant at Tianjin.

In January 2012, the two companies also signed a protocol of cooperation to expand new business opportunities and joint ventures.

Sinopec is involved in the petrochemicals, polymers, synthetic fibres and rubbers, fertilisers and other chemicals production business.

Sinopec's other businesses include oil and gas exploration and production, refining, marketing, research and development, and foreign trade.