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SABIC highlights how it is using ‘Chemistry that Matters™’ to meet global challenges at K 2016 trade show

Düsseldorf, 19 October 2016 – SABIC is using ‘Chemistry that Matters™’ to address global trends and challenges in key industries with inspiring solutions. That was the message SABIC brought to a global audience at K 2016, the world’s premier trade show for the plastics industry, held this year in Dusseldorf, Germany.

A growing global population -- combined with a rapidly increasing urbanization and middle class – is driving many industries to seek solutions for sustainable materials and innovative techniques to enable the construction of affordable, energy-efficient houses, personal vehicles, smart devices, consumer goods and modern, affordable mass-transportation systems, while contributing to the smart use of global resources.

To that end, SABIC strives to produce products that that are safer, lighter and affordable to a wide range of people. These products ultimately grow the economy in a sustainable manner – lifting more people out of poverty and into the middle class.

SABIC’s state-of-the-art booth highlighted examples from our collaborations with customers to jointly develop and produce global solutions, from concept to realization. Focusing on providing answers to global challenges, SABIC demonstrated how we can turn these challenges into opportunities that achieve customer goals while creating lasting business value for them and for SABIC.

“Our customers are seeing their businesses evolve rapidly,” said Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh, Executive Vice President for Petrochemicals. “They are responding to technological advances, changing consumer needs, volatile raw material prices, new feedstocks, and new manufacturing trends. By providing new ideas and new solutions that help our customers achieve their ambitions and sustainability goals – we also achieve our own.”

Al-Fageeh noted that Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Yousef A. Al-Benyan had unveiled SABIC’s new organizational structure recently. The new structure, he told the assembled media, is intended to create a more agile and flexible organization that enables SABIC to accelerate the pace of innovation and respond more quickly to changing market trends.

A major aspect of the transformation is the integration of the former Polymers and Chemicals Strategic Business Units into a single SBU called Petrochemicals. Al-Fageeh has been appointed the executive vice president in charge of the new organization.

To collaborate more closely with customers, Mr. Al-Fageeh noted the establishment of a new, market-facing structure that targets key focus segments – including automotive, pipe, foam, mass transportation, healthcare, building and construction, and packaging.

“These are market segments where we see growth in coming years,” he said. “A rising world population demands materials that are lighter in weight and more flexible than existing ones, yet are strong, durable and meet rigorous safety standards.” He illustrated several successful examples of customer collaboration:

  • On display at the SABIC booth is the Scania truck. SABIC began working with the Swedish truck company and its part suppliers on this project more than five years ago. This truck includes more than 30 applications with thermoplastic materials from SABIC, totaling up to about 140 kg per vehicle. Thanks to improved powertrains and better aerodynamics, this new truck generation offers a 5 percent reduction in fuel consumption.
  • High-insulation SABIC® FOAMS can provide up to 30 percent savings in energy consumption -- which can reduce CO2 emissions by 36 percent.
  • A disposable dental bib made with SABIC’s innovative Nexlene proprietary technology. It is less expensive than existing materials, and has a sustainable dimension by 20 percent down-gauging in thickness for the intermediate layer. Good sealing properties, a lower sealing temperature and the absence of gels have been reported as advantages for this formulation development.

Executive Vice President Ernesto Occhiello noted that the Specialties SBU that he heads was established to serve as the exclusive home for SABIC’s rare or unique offerings. “Our mission includes value creation with customers and specifiers via high performing plastics, compounds and forms with a demanding combination of thermal, mechanical, electrical and optical properties,” he said. “We take the lead for SABIC in highly regulated and specified markets – including electronics, aerospace, rail and health care.”

Among the examples he cited:

  • SABIC’s new UDMAX™ fiber-reinforced thermoplastics tape portfolio. This proprietary technology delivers unmatched impregnation and thus superior processing and mechanical properties for a range of applications including lightweighting of commercial vehicles.
  • A 3D printed economy class seat prototype using filament made from SABIC’s ULTEM™ 9085 resin. To inspire seating tiers to take a fresh look at seat design and fabrication, SABIC licensed the Studio Gavari design for a sleek and ergonomically advanced seat, resulting in a seat with less than 15 components, part consolidation and manufacturing efficiency.

SABIC-Europe Vice President Mark Williams underscored the importance of Europe to SABIC’s operations, noting that it employs over 5,000 people at 30 worksites across the continent. Recent SABIC investments in Europe include:

  • Conversion of its Teesside Cracker in the UK to process Ethane -- further extending its feedstock flexibility and making it the one of the most flexible feedstock crackers in Europe.
  • A new state-of-the-art research facility opened at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen housing SABIC’s Global Foam Innovation Center.

The importance of investment to innovation was also underscored:

  • SABIC’s new Kemya facility in Saudi Arabia will supply of approximately 200,000 tons of synthetic rubber per year to support conversion industries in EMEA region.
  • Glass fiber-reinforced Polyacetal (SABITAL™) comes from the Ibn Sina facility in Jubail. It is used in applications ranging from automotive, to electronics, to building and construction.
  • SABIC now operates 18 major dedicated Technology & Innovation facilities in Saudi Arabia, the USA, the Netherlands, Spain, Japan, India and South Korea. Since the last K-Show, four new T&I facilities have been opened in Korea, China, India, Geleen, and the KSA.

The company also highlighted its sustainability initiatives:

  • The world’s largest CO2 purification and utilization project at United - a SABIC affiliate in Jubail, is designed to purify up to 500,000 metric tons of CO2 per year. The product is so pure that it can actually be used in medical applications.
  • In a first for the circular economy, Dell has partnered with supplier SABIC to recycle excess carbon fiber and scrap raw materials into new Dell Latitude and Alienware products. That prevents an estimated 372,000 kg of carbon fiber from ending up in landfills and produces an approximately 11 percent smaller carbon footprint.
  • 68 sustainable products – 23 new products in 2015 across SABIC.
  • 270 innovation projects verified as sustainable.
  • Filed over 540 new patent applications – for a total of 1more than 11,000.

“Today’s petrochemical companies must move beyond being a commodity provider – and become a solutions provider,” said Mr. Al-Fageeh. “Innovation and technology.

Source: SABIC