Commissioning of new $530m SAFCO urea plant slips to late June
by Richard Ewing
Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Company (SAFCO) has delayed the start-up of its new 1.1m tonne/year urea plant in Jubail by six weeks it emerged on Tuesday – the second time the facility’s commissioning has been pushed back.
The $530m plant is now scheduled to commence production in late June rather than mid-May, the producer announced in a stock exchange filing that was released in Arabic only.
The unit was originally due to come online in April following the end of a three-month trial that started in late December, but SAFCO announced in late March that move was postponed by several weeks for unspecified reasons.
“The plant is still in the trial operations stage and a few required repairs are being done now to complete testing the performance and efficiency,” SAFCO said in the 3 May filing.
“This stage is expected to be extended to the end of June and therefore handover of the project and the announcement of commercial operations will be delayed to that date.”
SAFCO, part of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) added the latest delay would not increase the cost of the export-oriented plant.