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Jeddah – Yasmine El Tohamy – RIYADH: Saudi Arabian petrochemical and chemical manufacturing company Sipchem is studying SR25 billion ($6.6 billion) of projects with the Ministry of Energy in the next decade through the Shareek Program, CEO Abdullah Saif Al-Saadoon said.
Saudi Arabia launched the SR12 trillion Shareek Program in March to boost the role of the private sector in diversifying the economy, increasing resilience and supporting sustainable growth.
Saudi petrochemicals group said that month that Shareek would help it double capacity within the next 10 to 15 years.
Al-Saadoun said that Sipchem has signed an agreement with Germany’s Linde to expand into the industrial gases and clean energy sector through blue hydrogen, Al Arabiya reported.
Increased investment may see Sipchem profits decrease in the short term, but dividend distribution will be maintained, he said.
The company returned to profit in the first quarter with net income of SR411 million compared with a loss of SR53 million a year earlier as production of its main products increased, Al-Saadoun said.
It is also starting to reap the fruits of the merger with Sahara International Petrochemical Company more than 20 months ago, he said.
Europe constitutes 40 percent of the company’s sales and Asia 35 percent, including India, which alone accounts for 20-25 percent of sales, said Al-Saadoun. The Middle East, Turkey and Africa make up 20 percent, of which 15 percent are consumed inside the Kingdom, he said.
Sipchem has suspended production at two factories in Hail and Al Jubeir because of large losses, but no further actions are expected, he said.
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