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SABIC’s Petrokemya signs deal with Tecnicas Reunidas

SABIC's Petrokemya signs deal with Tecnicas Reunidas

Petrokemya, a subsidiary of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) has signed an initial deal with Spanish oil engineering company Tecnicas Reunidas to build a petrochemical plant in the Saudi industrial city of Jubail, SABIC said on Saturday.

June 10, 2012 10:38 by

Petrokemya, a subsidiary of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) has signed an initial deal with Spanish oil engineering company Tecnicas Reunidas to build a petrochemical plant in the Saudi industrial city of Jubail, SABIC said on Saturday.

The long-awaited project for the acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plant, is estimated to cost $561 million and is expected to start initial operations in the fourth quarter of 2014, SABIC, the world’s biggest petrochemicals group by market value, said in a statement on the Saudi bourse.

It did not provide the value of the contract with Tecnicas Reunidas, and said it would finance the project with its own resources.

The project would have production capacity of 140,000 tonnes per year of the ABS product, which is used by the automotive industry among others, SABIC said.

Arabian Petrochemical Co, known as Petrokemya, is fully owned by SABIC.

SABIC said last year it would launch a joint venture firm, Saudi Japanese Acrylonitrile Co (Shrouq) withJapan’s Asahi Kasei Chemicals and Mitsubishi Corp to build a plant to produce acrylonitrile and sodium cyanide at one of the SABIC affiliates’ sites in Jubail, with a final investment decision due in 2012.

(Writing by Reem Shamseddine; Editing by Rania El Gamal and Daniel Magnowski)

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Six world powers were scrutinising the IAEA-Iran meeting to judge whether the Iranians were ready to make concessions before a resumption of wider-ranging negotiations with them in Moscow on June 18-19 on the decade-old nuclear dispute.

The lack of result may heighten Western suspicions that Iran is seeking to drag out the two sets of talks to buy time for its uranium enrichment programme, without backing down in the face of international demands that it suspend its sensitive work.

“It should by now be clear to everyone that Iran is not negotiating in good faith,” a senior Western diplomat said.

A European envoy also accredited to the IAEA said: “This is a dismal outcome … Iran is simply wasting time with its evasions and refusal to engage.”

Nackaerts said his team had come to the meeting with a desire to finalise the deal and had presented a revised draft that addressed earlier stated concerns by Iran.

“However, there has been no progress,” he told reporters.

“And indeed Iran raised issues that we have already discussed and added new ones. This is disappointing. A date for a follow-on meeting has yet to be fixed.”

Late last month, Amano returned from a rare, one-day visit to Tehran saying the two sides had decided to reach a deal and that he expected it to be signed soon.

Pierre Goldschmidt, a former chief U.N. nuclear inspector, said Iran likely did not want to make any concession to the IAEA just 10 days before the Moscow talks without getting something in exchange.

“It is indirectly a deliberate and unnecessary insult to Director-General Amano who recently went to Tehran in order to reach a deal,” he said.

Mark Fitzpatrick, a former senior U.S. State Department official and now a director at the International Institute for Strategic Studies think-tank in London, said:

“This situation is reminiscent of the Peanuts cartoon of Charlie Brown repeatedly believing Lucy this time will hold the football for him to kick, with her always snatching it away at the last minute, leaving him to fall flat.”



Iran’s IAEA ambassador, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said after Friday’s talks that work on a so-called “structured approach” document, setting the overall terms for the IAEA investigation, would continue and there would be more meetings.

“This is a very complicated issue,” Soltanieh said. “We have decided to continue our work and we are going to decide on the venue and date soon … and we hope that we will be able to conclude this structured approach.”

Asked about Parchin, Soltanieh said: “That is in fact one of the problems. The more you politicise an issue which was purely technical it creates an obstacle and damages the environment.”

Both Iran – which insists it will work with the U.N. agency to prove allegations of a nuclear weapons agenda are “forged and fabricated” – and the IAEA said earlier that significant headway had been made on the procedural document.

But differences persisted over how the IAEA should conduct its inquiry. The United States said this week it doubted whether Iran would give the IAEA the kind of access to sites, documents and officials it needs to get to the bottom of its suspicions.

“Opening discussions with Iran is easy; closing a deal is incredibly difficult,” said Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment think-tank. “The graveyard of international diplomacy is littered with failed Iran deals.”

The talks pursued by world powers are aimed at defusing tension over Iran’s nuclear works that has led to increasingly tough Western sanctions on Iran, including an EU oil embargo from July 1, and stoked fears of another Middle East war.

Full transparency and cooperation with the IAEA is one of the elements the world powers – the United States, Russia, France, Britain, China and Germany – are seeking from Iran.

But they also want Iran to stop its higher-grade uranium enrichment, which Tehran says it needs for a research reactor but which also takes it closer to potential bomb material.

For its part, Iran wants sanctions relief and international recognition of what it says is its right to refine uranium.

“The lack of progress at the talks today casts a shadow on the upcoming Moscow talks,” U.S. proliferation expert David Albright said. “Iran appears once again to be choosing stonewalling over transparency and confrontation over negotiations.”

But Cliff Kupchan, a Middle East analyst at consultancy Eurasia Group, said he did not expect the outcome in Vienna to have major implications for the Moscow meeting.

“The Iranians always bob and weave before meeting with the (six world powers), trying to get leverage,” he said.

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