Sipchem, Sadara cooperate to produce and purify ethanol to support Saudi Arabia’s efforts against Covid-19

Published: 21 June 2020 - 3 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
In line with their social responsibility toward the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sahara International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) and Sadara Chemical Company (Sadara) have partnered to supply high-quality ethanol required for the manufacturing 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.

‏Saleh Bahamdan, CEO of Sipchem and Dr Faisal Al-Faqeer, CEO of Sadara, praised the efforts of all teams involved in the project and in the government’s efforts to mitigate the effects of Covid-19. They emphasised that the government has shown wisdom in its efforts to minimise 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 localising 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 kilograms (KG) per week of high-quality ethanol ready for use in hand sanitizer manufacturing. A total of 100,000KG of high-purity ethanol will be produced to fulfil the local demand.

‏Additionally, both companies last month announced respective contributions of $1.33mn by Sadara and $0.53mn by Sipchem to the kingdom's Health Endowment Fund, to support ongoing efforts to minimise the spread of Covid-19 and to aid the healthcare sector in securing the necessary tools to care for patients.

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