Said to be the biggest chemical complex built in a single phase, the facility is also the first in the middle East to use refinery liquids such as naphtha as feedstock, and has the capacity to produce 3m tonnes of products per year.
It is the 22nd of 26 new plants planned by Sadara, a joint-venture between Saudi Aramco and America’s Dow Chemicals.
“This plant will provide the building blocks for a range of consumer products, which ultimately will be manufactured in the Kingdom and will therefore create new jobs for Saudi citizens,” said Ziad Al-Labban, Sadara’s chief executive.
An organic compound with a wide range of industrial and consumer applications, propylene glycol is used in the food industry as a preservative and flavouring agent in coffee-based drinks, liquid sweeteners, ice cream, whipped dairy products and soda.
The US Food and Drug Administration considers it safe in small quantities, although it can be toxic in large doses.