Arabian Industrial Fibres Co. (Ibn Rushd).
This was formed as a joint stock venture in December 1995, with
SABIC holding 51.7%. Its capital of SR3 bn ($800m), divided into 30m
SR100 shares, were fully subscribed and paid. An aromatics complex and
purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant at Yanbu' came on stream in
1998 and marked the beginning of a new industry in Saudi Arabia, that of
polyester textiles and carpets and PET (polyethylene terephthalate)
bottles. The complex uses the Cyclar process and produces 350,000 t/y of
benzene, 300,000 t/y of paraxylene, 45,000 t/y of orthoxylene and 35,000
t/y of meta-xylene. About 160,000 t/y of the benzene is sold to the
first Saudi cumene plant to start up in late 1999.