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Sadara and Sipchem team up for ethanol production in Saudi Arabia

By Mary Page Bailey |

Sadara Chemical Co. (Jubail, Saudi Arabia) and Sahara International Petrochemical Co. (Sipchem) have partnered to supply high-quality ethanol required for the manufacture of hand sanitizers. The ethanol has been provided to local manufacturers free of charge to enable them to produce much-needed hand sanitizers, which in turn were donated to the Ministry of Health for distribution to the healthcare industry throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Faisal Al-Faqeer, CEO of Sadara, and Eng. Saleh Bahamdan, CEO of Sipchem, praised the efforts of all teams involved in the project and in the government’s efforts to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. They emphasized that the government has shown wisdom in its efforts to minimize the impact on the Kingdom, its citizens and residents, and they highlighted the fact that as local Saudi companies it is the duty of Sadara and Sipchem and others to contribute to such efforts. This collaboration shows the importance of localizing the industry, which has resulted in a fast response to the Kingdom’s demand for this key raw material. 
Due to the sudden shortage of ethanol/isopropanol products in the Kingdom and throughout the world as the global industrial community works to provide much-needed personal protective equipment and cleaning agents to the healthcare industry, and in response to a call by the Ministry of Energy, Sipchem extracted industrial-grade ethanol from its production lines and supplied it to Sadara, which in turn leveraged its high technical capability to purify the ethanol in a temporarily repurposed distillation tower at the Sadara Chemical Complex in Jubail to comply with the Saudi Drug and Food Authorization (SDFA) requirements.  The purification process has the capability to produce around 1,600 kg per week of high-quality ethanol ready for use in hand sanitizer manufacturing. A total of 100,000 kg of high-purity ethanol will be produced to fulfill the local demand.
Additionally, both companies last month announced respective contributions of SR 5 million by Sadara and SR 2 million by Sipchem to the Kingdom’s Health Endowment Fund, to support ongoing efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and to aid the healthcare sector in securing the necessary tools to care for patients.

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