The Abu Dhabi National Chemicals Company has selected Ruwais for the site of two new petrochemical plants. The company chose the site over a port closer to the UAE capital. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Dubai: Abu Dhabi plans to build new petrochemical plants near an oil refinery in the Ruwais industrial area, the state-run port developer said.

The site was preferred ahead of a port closer to the United Arab Emirates capital.

State-owned Abu Dhabi National Chemicals Company said it would shift all planned sites to Ruwais, about 160km southwest of the city.

This would help it to gain more direct access to the refinery by-products that would feed its crackers, a spokesman for Abu Dhabi Ports Company said yesterday.

The petrochemical developer, known as Chemaweyaat after the Arabic word for chemicals, had planned to build some plants at the projected Port Khalifa, a new industrial zone between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Chemaweyaat has since received a grant of land adjacent to the Ruwais refinery.

Naphtha new feedstock

Abu Dhabi Arabian Gulf petrochemical producers are turning to naphtha as a feedstock for the first time amid growing power-plant demand for natural gas.

Abu Dhabi said it planned to build the Middle East's first plant that would only use naphtha to make plastics. Saudi Arabia may develop similar units as part of two refinery ventures, according to state-run Saudi Aramco, France's Total SA and Sumitomo Chemical Company of Japan, the partners in the projects.