Saudi firm to develop $293m soda ash facility
Khobar, November 1, 2011
Saudi-based Idea Soda Ash and Calcium Chloride Company (Isacc) has signed up Jacobs Engineering to build a soda ash and calcium chloride production facility at cost of SR1.1 billion ($293.3 million) in Jubail.
The facility will be the first in the Kingdom and Gulf region to produce sodium carbonate and calcium chloride, said Abdulaziz Yahya Al-Muaiyyad, managing director and CEO of Isacc and Dr Bob Irvin, Group VP of Jacobs Engineering after signing the deal.
Isacc, the founding company of Jubail Inorganic Chemicals Industries Company, said the unit will have a total annual capacity of up to 800000 tonnes.
As per the agreement, Jacobs will provide engineering and project management services for the construction of an industrial complex for Jubail Inorganic Chemicals Industries Company.
Al-Muaiyyad described the project as a strategic one for Saudi Arabia since it will be contribute significantly to the development of the Kingdom’s non-oil economy with all basic materials secured from mines within the country.
'The project will provide the Kingdom’s requirements for Soda Ash and Calcium Chloride, used in oil and gas drilling operations and the manufacture of glass and detergents, which are currently being imported from outside sources, he stated.
Al-Muaiyyad said the company had fulfilled all the necessary requirements to start construction before the middle of next year.
According to Al-Muaiyyad, the project has the strong backing of the Saudi Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Saudi Aramco, and the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu.
Saudi Aramco has allocated the necessary gas and fuel for the facility, while the Royal Commission has allocated a 510,000 square meters plot of land for the factory at Jubail-II Industrial City.
The commissioning production run is scheduled to start by end of 2014 and commercial operations will follow in the first quarter of 2015. Work is currently under process to secure all the other necessary utilities to run the project.
The industrial complex is viewed as an outstanding example of the progress being made in the development of Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy and diversification of the Kingdom’s revenues.
Furthermore, the project will contribute to the reduction of unemployment in the Kingdom by providing more than 800 job opportunities in the various facilities and plant services.
Commenting on the venture, Dr Irvine said: 'This project is the first of its kind in the Kingdom and we are especially pleased that Jacobs Engineering has been selected to carry out the engineering services and management of the project since we fully recognize the importance of increasing the participation of the chemical industries sector in the national economy.'
Dr Abdulbasit Andijani and Dr Basel Abu Sharkh, technical consultants of the project, explained that the facility will be one of the most technologically advanced and a role model for this type of industry since it will use various modern technologies that protect the environment and conserve water and energy consumption.
Dr. Zahed Nawaz, financial advisor for the project's founding investors, added that these advanced technologies will effectively reduce costs and raise the project’s profitability.-TradeArabia News Service