Low & Bonar PLC, the U.K.–based international performance materials group, and Petrochemical Industrial Company (NATPET), a subsidiary of Alujain Corp. announced in a Feb. 1 press release that they have agreed to terms for a joint venture company in Saudi Arabia for the design, manufacture, and sale of geotextile products for markets in the Middle East and India.
The joint venture company will build a new manufacturing plant at a site near NATPET’s polypropylene production facility in Yanbu, in western Saudi Arabia, and will benefit from a long–term supply agreement with NATPET, the release stated.
L&B will have a 50% equity interest in and shared operational control of the venture with NATPET. Each partner’s committed contribution to the venture is approximately £5.4 million ($8.7 million), payable in cash during 2011. The new facility is expected to be operational in 2013, according to the release.
Alujain is a public company in Saudi Arabia with a substantial stake held by Xenel Industries, a diversified industrial holding company based in Jeddah. Alujain leverages Saudi Arabia’s significant hydrocarbon resources in developing world-scale energy intensive industries.
Steve Good, L&B CEO, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with such a well–respected Saudi Arabian company. The joint venture is well positioned to take full advantage of the high growth geotextile markets in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent given its unparalleled technological, marketing, and raw material strength. The venture increases L&B’s presence in fast growing emerging markets and is a further step in our development as a global performance materials group.”
Marwan Nusair, president of Alujain, commented: “The geotextiles joint venture is our first downstream venture under NATPET with a view to developing value–added products, creating employment opportunities for Saudis and bringing new technology to the Kingdom. We are proud to have joined hands with a leading player in the geotextiles business.”