Sabic looking at acquiring a stake in ONGC’s petchem project in India

The world’s fourth largest petrochemical company Sabic is mulling over a buy of about half of the US$4.6-billion Indian petchem project backed by Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC).

ONGC is a majority shareholder in ONGC Petro Additions (OPaL), which operates India’s biggest petrochemical plant in the western state of Gujarat sin India.

Previously, ONGC had held talks about selling a stake in the project to Saudi Aramco and Petrochemical Industries Co, a unit of Kuwait Petroleum Corp.

Recently, India and Saudi Arabia have been looking at strengthening their trade ties. A recent tie-up was Aramco’s initial deal with India to buy a 50% stake in a planned 1.2 million barrels/day west coast refinery and petrochemical project.

To expand its footprint in the world’s third-biggest oil importer, Saudi Arabia is also scouting for a stake in existing major refineries, its Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih has been reported to have said.

India’s per capita consumption of synthetic polymers, used to make various grades of plastics, is just 10 kg/year, compared with a global average of about 32 kg. But the country’s per capita consumption of petrochemicals is expected to rise with the surging growth of the middle class, growing income levels and urbanisation.