SK Chemical launches venture with SABIC

SK Global Chemical has joined with Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) to launch a joint venture firm in Singapore on Sunday, 05th July, 2015. Industry insiders say the joint venture firm will provide an opportunity for the group to take a “quantum leap” in the global chemical industry. The two signed a 50:50 partnership on Friday, 03rd July, 2015 to establish the 710 billion-won SABIC SK Nexlene Company (SSNC). Under the agreement, SK Global Chemical and SK Innovation will provide the technology and production facilities for its flagship product, Nexlene, to SSNC, worth 540 billion won, while SABIC will focus on sales through its global marketing networks. The venture with the world’s largest ethylene producer is the brainchild of SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, who has worked to make it happen while serving a four-year prison term since 2013 for embezzlement. Chey, during his Middle East tour in March 2011, was known to have made contact with the Saudi chemical giant more than 10 times before he was jailed. Nexlene is a high-performance polyethylene brand that SK developed in 2010. The premium polyethylene is used in products in a wide range of areas of the automotive, utilities, construction and other industries. Until now, American chemical and gas companies such as Dow Chemical and Exxon Mobile have been dominating its production. The joint venture will operate a series of manufacturing plants, including one SK Global Chemical recently completed in Ulsan, with an expected annual capacity of 230,000 tons.