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U.S.energy behemoth, ExxonMobil Corporation’s(XOM - Analyst Report) Saudi Arabia unit - Exxon Chemical Arabia Inc. – in partnership with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (“SABIC”), a public company in Saudi Arabia, intends to build a $3.4 billion world-class specialty elastomers center at the Al-Jubail Petrochemical Company (“Kemya”) manufacturing joint venture.
The plant is expected to be incorporated into the existing premises of Al-Jubail. The project is estimated to come on line in 2015 with an annual production capacity of about 400,000 tons of rubber. The annual output will comprise halobutyl, styrene butadiene, polybutadiene, ethylene propylene diene monomer rubbers, in addition to thermoplastic specialty polymers and carbon black. The products will then be supplied to domestic markets, the Middle East and Asia.
The subsequent phase of project development, which includes engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) has been agreed upon by the partners. France’s Technip, Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas and South Korea’s Daelim have received the EPC contract from Kemya for the elastomers facility.
ExxonMobil is the largest foreign investor as well as a key client of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The new elastomers facility, designed to generate a wide range of consumer products, will serve as a model and provide a base for further developments in the region.
ExxonMobil’s balanced operations, strong financial flexibility, improved efficiency and cost control provide it an edge over others. The company’s continuous efforts to build an unconventional resource portfolio both in North America and overseas aims at increasing production through increased exposure to large energy resources with long reserve life and low field declines. Despite the collapse in natural gas prices, ExxonMobil expects unconventional resources to play a dominant role in future supplies owing to the rapid decline in conventional production.
ExxonMobil – the largest U.S.oil firm by market value ahead of Chevron Corp. (CVX - Analyst Report) – holds a Zacks #3 Rank - equivalent to a Hold rating for a period of one to three months. For the long term, we maintain a Neutral recommendation on the stock.
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