New waste-to-energy plant in Saudi’s PlasChem Park to launch in 2021
by Parag Deulgaonkar
Veolia's upcoming industrial waste-to-energy facility in Jubail's PlasChem Park is expected to go onstream in June 2021, according to Sadara, which will be providing industrial waste for the new plant.
The development of this facility by Veolia will provide a local, competitive, sustainable and reliable solution for industrial waste management as well as industrial utility supply for PlasChem Park, CEO Faisal Al-Faqeer told Argaam in an exclusive interview.
“The Veolia facility will help lower the capital footprint required for investors and potential investors to set up their facilities in PlasChem Park,” he added.
In December 2018, Sadara, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and The Dow Chemical Company, signed an agreement with Veolia Middle East SAS, to build an industrial-waste-to-energy facility providing steam, chilled water, instrument air and waste management to early tenants of PlasChem Park, adjacent to the Sadara Chemical Complex.
PlasChem Park is a joint collaboration between Sadara and the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu in Jubail Industrial City II.
Sadara has started full commercial operations at its new $20 billion chemical complex— the world’s largest integrated complex ever built in a single phase— which includes 26 manufacturing units and has over three million tons of capacity per annum.
When asked about the expansion of Sadara Chemical Complex, Al-Faqeer said the company is always looking for opportunities to optimize the downstream integration of its 26 manufacturing plants, exploring options to increase production and generate value for the Kingdom’s downstream industries.
Despite the consolidation drive in sectors such as banking, petrochemicals, and insurance, Al-Faqeer believed the critical mass of Saudi’s chemical industry is currently not large enough for merger and acquisition activities.
“The first merger in Saudi Arabia’s chemical industry is the Sipchem-Sahara merger. Of course, Saudi Aramco’s purchase of a 70 percent majority stake in SABIC will doubtless have a major impact on the industry, but it is too early to speculate on what that impact might be,” he noted.
Going forward, Sadara will be focusing on stabilizing its operations, as it has achieved an important milestone after passing the Creditors Reliability Test, Al-Faqeer said.
“This monitored exercise proved to our lenders that Sadara can operate its market-facing plants at 90 percent or better capacity for a period of 60 consecutive days,” he added.
Sadara is currently concentrating on optimizing its operations and assuring long-term reliable performance.
“Any future acquisitions or mergers will depend upon internal and external markets and the shape of the industry in years to come,” the CEO stated.
Al-Faqeer, meanwhile, kept a positive outlook on the Kingdom's chemical sector. He expects Saudi Arabia’s chemicals market to grow at about 6 percent annually in US dollar terms in the future.
"We expect this growth will reflect positively on Sadara. We’re optimistic about the future – not only for ourselves but for the Saudi chemical industry in general," he continued.
Sadara is currently focusing on three main pillars— growth, environmental protection, and social engagement— as environmental protection and sustainability practices become a core issue in the sector.
“This strategy helps us to improve all our processes so we can maximize profits by applying optimum utilization of limited natural resources. It will help us to be a significant player in achieving Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and the United Nations’ sustainable development goals as well,” Al-Faqeer said.