A joint venture of United States-based Colonial Chemical Inc. announced on Jan. 20 that it broke ground on a specialty chemicals factory that will be built in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Colonial said it undertook the project with an eye for the country’s oilfield chemicals market but that it will also produce materials for lubricants and other applications.
Among the chemicals that the plant will make are ether carboxylates, which can be used as lubricity additives in metalworking fluids and lubricants; imidazolines, which are used as antiwear agents and corrosion inhibitors; phosphate esters, which are used as base stocks in hydraulic fluids and other lubricants requiring fire resistance; and alkanolamines, which inhibit corrosion and form lubricating films in water-soluble metalworking fluids, greases and lubricants.
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“We do expect to service that industry,” Colonial Marketing Specialist Christine Anderson told Lube Report. “The plant is designed to service the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and [other] countries in the region. And we intend to meet the demands of any metalworking and industrial lubricant business in that area.”
Colonial’s partners in the joint venture are Sadeem Investments, a Saudi investment firm, and Earth’s Reservoir for Oil and Gas, a Saudi oil and gas industry service provider. Colonial will contribute technology and operations knowledge, while Sadeem and EROG are responsible for local operational oversight and construction support.
Colonial, a privately owned company based in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, did not disclose the cost or capacity of the plant. It expects the facility to open in the fourth quarter of this year. It did say that the facility will occupy nine acres and will include reaction vessels, distillation columns, blending and mixing vessels, pilot scale equipment for development, warehousing and tank farms, as well as a laboratory and offices.
In addition to making products that it will sell, the plant will also offer toll blending services to other chemical marketers. In a press release the company said the plant will use local raw materials in accordance with Saudi economic policies.
The oil and gas exploration and production industry has been a core customer base for Colonial, but it also supplies surfactants and a range of other chemicals for the water treatment, paper, paints, coatings, personal care and cleaners industries. The company claims to market products in 50 countries, but the Dammam facility will be its first factory outside the United States. It currently operates one plant in South Pittsburg.
“We chose KSA due to the quickly growing and diversifying economy of the region and the government-backed localization initiatives” of the government, Anderson said.