Kemya, located in Jubail, is a 50/50 joint venture between SABIC and ExxonMobil, established in 1980. With initial production commencing in 1984, Kemya was one of Saudi Arabia’s initial polyethylene producers. The site has the capacity to produce about 900,000 tons per year of ethylene and over 1.3 million tons per year of low density and linear low density polyethylene to serve the domestic, regional and global markets.
In 2016, SABIC and ExxonMobil completed construction of a new elastomers plant at Kemya. The facilities are integrated with the existing Al-Jubail complex, and this new synthetic rubber project represents a significant broadening of Kemya’s product portfolio. With a total investment of US $3.4 billion, the elastomers facility has the capacity to produce up to 400,000 tons per year including:
- Halobutyl rubber
- Polybutadiene and styrene butadiene rubber
- Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubbers
- Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE)
- Carbon black
The facility employs commercially competitive, high-impact technologies, including proprietary ExxonMobil EPDM, thermoplastic elastomer and halobutyl rubber technologies.
The Kemya elastomers facility, demonstrates ExxonMobil and SABIC’s commitment to foster a local rubber industry in Saudi Arabia that supports job creation, develops downstream industries and helps diversify the national economy. The strategic partnership between SABIC and ExxonMobil provides the strength of industry-leading competitive assets, introduces new specialty products to the Kingdom and offers global marketing and supply capability of exceptional quality. The new facility can help accelerate the growth and diversification of the Kingdom’s industrial sector and provide local manufacturers with the building blocks to successfully compete domestically and internationally in markets for a wide range of products.
Since a critical element to the success of this nascent industry is access to a skilled workforce, the High Institute for Elastomer Industries, fostered by ExxonMobil and SABIC, provides world-class training to Saudis to qualify for careers as technicians specialized in elastomers. A product services center was also created in Riyadh to support customers in the local rubber conversion industry with technical service and new product development.
Over 95 percent of Kemya’s workforce are Saudis. To retain the highly qualified Saudi workforce at Kemya, there is a comprehensive talent management program focused on employee professional and leadership development at this world-class industrial plant.
Environmental compliance and protection
Over the past decades, Kemya has compiled an exemplary record of compliance to the environmental regulations of the Royal Commission for Jubail. The plant has a rigorous and sophisticated system for waste management, from production to safe disposal. Over the years, Kemya has received several environmental awards from the local regulatory authority.