Saudi petrochem giant closes Jubail propylene plant temporarily

Advanced Petrochemical Company said an "essential assessment for critical reliability improvements" drove the move

Saudi's Advanced has temporarily closed its propylene plant in Saudi for critical improvements [representational image].
Saudi's Advanced has temporarily closed its propylene plant in Saudi for critical improvements [representational image].

Saudi’s Advanced Petrochemical Company (Advanced) has shut its propylene plant in Jubail on 22 February for critical reliability improvements for a maximum of 10 days.

According to a filing on Saudi bourse Tadawul, the firm said its polypropylene plant will continue operating at lower throughput, utilising “inventories available in the tank, as well as outsourced propylene.

The firm said any financial impact of the temporary closure would be reflected in its results of the first quarter of 2019.

The news came the same day as the firm released its financial results for the year ending 31 December last year.

Net profit after tax and zakat for the year stood at $191.1m (SAR716.7m), a 14% increase on 2017 when the corresponding figure stood $168.3m (SAR631.1m).

READ: Saudi petrochem giant awards $351m EPC contract for South Korea plant

This increase was driven in part by a 15.3% rise in revenue, caused by a 13.3% jump in polypropylene prices and a 1.6% hike in total sales quantities.

The bourse missive read: “The above increase in net income is despite the increase in feedstock costs by 23.65% as a result of an increase in propane and outsourced propylene prices by 18.82% and 18.83% respectively and comparatively higher consumption of outsouced propylene by 22.06%.”

The figures came two months after Advanced announced a $350.6m (SAR1.3bn) engineering, procurement, and construction contract for a new polypropylene plants in South Korea's southern port city of Ulsan.

According to a filing on Tadawul in mid-December last year, construction on the plant – set to produce 400,000 metric tonnes of polypropylene a year – will begin Q1 2019, with commercial operations expected to start in the first half of 2021.

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