SaBuCo Butanol Plant, Jubail, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Butanol Company (SaBuCo), a joint venture (JV) between three Saudi petrochemical companies namely Sadara Chemical Company (Sadara), Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Company (Saudi Kayan) and Saudi Acrylic Acid Company (SAAC), constructed a butanol plant in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The new plant is touted to be the first of its kind in the Middle East and the biggest in the world.
The JV received the approvals for the project from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in June 2013. Construction work commenced in 2014 and completed by May 2015. Trial run of the facility commenced in August 2015. The butanol plant began its commercial operations in March 2016.
Daelim of South Korea was awarded the construction contract for the butanol plant in July 2013. The contract is worth SAR1,100m ($293m approximately). The overall project was implemented with an estimated investment of SAR1,939m ($517m approximately).
Location and operation of the Saudi butanol plant
The butanol producing facility is located at TASNEE Petrochemical Complex in Jubail Industrial City, and is integrated into SAAC's Acrylates Complex. TASNEE operates the butanol plant, under an agreement signed in December 2012.
The TASNEE Petrochemical Complex integrates two projects, Saudi Polyolefins Company (SPC) and Saudi Ethylene and Polyethylene Company (SEPC). The SPC began operations in early 2004, and produces propylene and polypropylene (PP) with installed production capacity of 455,000tpa and 720,000tpa respectively. SEPC annually produces one million tonnes of ethylene, 285,000t of propylene, and 400,000t each of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE).
Details of SaBuCo butanol plant
The butanol plant produces 330,000t per annum of n-butanol and 11,000t per annum of iso-butanol. Both n-butanol and iso-butanol are intermediates used in the construction industry. N-butanol is also used as a solvent and feedstock for the production of butyl acrylate and acetate. The butanol plant specially caters to the growing paints and coatings industry in Saudi Arabia.
Each of the companies within the JV procures and supplies propylene and sales gas feedstock for production of their share. They are also responsible for exporting their own share of production from the plant.
Saudi Kayan is involved in developing the export / import units at the King Fahd Industrial Port in Jubail with an estimated investment of SAR180m ($48m approximately) to facilitate the export of its share of production from the butanol plant. The units may also be used for exporting the other partners' butanol share based on specific agreements.
Sadara Chemical Company (Sadara) is a joint venture formed by Saudi Aramco (65%) and Dow (35%) in 2011. Sadara is based at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and owns a petrochemical complex, which features 26 chemical manufacturing units in Jubail II.
Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Company (SAUDI KAYAN) is a manufacturing affiliate of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and Saudi Acrylic Acid Company (SAAC). SAAC is further owned by TSOC, an affiliate of TASNEE Company and Sahara Petrochemicals Company.