Grace plans $200m UAE fluid cracker JV plant
Abu Dhabi, May 15, 2013
WR Grace & Company, a premier global specialty chemicals and materials company, has joined hands with UAE-based Al Dahra Agriculture to build its first fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts manufacturing facility in the Middle East.
FCC is one of the most important conversion processes used in petroleum refineries. It is widely used to convert the high-boiling, high-molecular weight hydrocarbon fractions of petroleum crude oils to more valuable gasoline, olefinic gases, and other products, said a statement from WR Grace.
The $200 million facility will serve refineries throughout the Middle East and potentially into South Asia. It will be built on just under 150,000 sq m of land in the Kizad Industrial Zone approximately 70 km from Abu Dhabi.
A logistics hub will be completed in the first quarter of 2014. Detailed engineering work for the full manufacturing facility is underway and construction is expected to begin in the fourth quarter this year, the statement added.
The facility will create approximately 200 new jobs and is scheduled to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2015, said officials of The Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (Takreer) and Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) while announcing the JV plant launch at gala dinner party on Tuesday.
The event, which was held under the patronage of UAE Energy Minister Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei, was attended by over 100 industry and government leaders from around the region.
Speaking at the gathering, Grace chairman and CEO Fred Festa said the regional demand for FCC catalysts was expected to grow substantially in the coming years.
“This project, Grace’s most significant capital investment in several years, will help us extend our global leadership in catalysts. We couldn’t be more pleased with our joint venture partner, Al Dahra Agriculture, on whom we can count for invaluable support here in the region,” he stated.
For Al Dahra, the project will diversify and strengthen its fast-growing business while advancing the vertical integration of the petrochemical industry in Abu Dhabi.
“Since we announced, slightly over a year ago, our intention to pursue this partnership with Grace, our initial assessment of the opportunity has been affirmed many times,” said Khadim Al Darei, Al Dahra’s vice chairman & managing director.
Al Dahra’s strong partnership with the UAE government in realizing the strategic food security program and ensuring long-term growth and sustainability for the emirate while in parallel growing commercial activities in global agribusiness, brings unparalleled value to the new venture, he stated.
According to him, the company is well positioned to become a key international player in its sector and a leader in the food supply chain business.
The company’s growth is a reflection of its exceptional service and delivery, the quality of agricultural produce and logistics services, and long-term customer satisfaction and loyalty, he added.
A leading global supplier of catalysts, engineered and packaging materials, Grace provides a broad, highly differentiated product portfolio and industry-leading technical service.
Nearly 40 per cent of transportation fuels worldwide are processed with Grace catalysts and Grace is the global leader for FCC catalysts and additives, said Festa.-TradeArabia News Service