Magazine January February 2011



Magazine January February 2011
January/February 2011 Issue 101
SABIC welcomes
King Abdullah
06 SABIC receives King Khaled Award
SABIC joins national celebrations to welcome
King Abdullah
Round-up of news stories from SABIC
operations around the world
40 Five-year anti-drug initiative launched
Exhibitions & Conferences
Reports from MD& M West in US, Arabplast in UAE, Interplastica
in Russia, Caps and Closures in Belgium, and AddFilm in Poland
New process at SABIC’s Ultem* resin manufacturing plant at
Mt. Vernon, Indiana, US adds commercial value to the sodium
nitrite by-product, reducing waste and halting incineration
practice in place for 20 years
General Supervisor:
Mohamed H. Al-Mady
Vice Chairman and CEO
Samir A. Al-Abdrabbuh
Vice President
Corporate Communications
Acting Managing Editor:
Vinod Menon
Media & External Communications
Contributions to SABIC magazine are welcome and may be
sent to: [email protected]
Articles and letters received may be edited for length and
clarity. Every effort has been made to report accurate information in this publication. However, neither SABIC nor the
publishers vouch for its accuracy, neither do they indemnify
any loss arising through the use of the information. The
views or opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect
those of SABIC or the publisher.
SABIC formulates a new innovation strategy and structure to
ensure the company’s continued competitiveness, and to
embed a new Culture of Innovation
SABIC Learning and Development formulates a new curriculum
and partners with leading institutions to provide advanced
training to the company’s global managers
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, P.O. Box 5101
Riyadh 11422, Saudi Arabia.
Published by
University students in China show great enthusiasm for SABIC’s
campus recruitment campaign
Zhongcai Profiles Co. Ltd., Zhejiang, China selects Geloy* XTW
resin for its window profiles; Leviton Manufacturing, a North
American leader in electrical devices and systems, selects Valox
IQ* resin for the housing of its Evr-Green™ portable charger set
for electrical vehicles
SABIC launches five-year anti-drug campaign with Saudi
Arabia’s Ministry of Interior; Volunteers in Korea provide winter
warmth for the needy
Project Manager: Khaled Al-Masri
PO Box 301292, Riyadh 11372, Tel:+966 (1) 462 3632,
Email: [email protected]
©2011 Alef Publishing & Media
Reprinting in whole or in part is prohibited by law
except with the prior written approval of the publisher.
02 SABIC January/February 2011
SABIC is developing and implementing a global IT strategy that
will be instrumental in equipping the business to achieve its
2020 goals
Group Editor: K. Krishnakumar
Senior Graphic Designer: Hussain Mohamed Al-Bakri
Rugs add color, comfort and elegance to our homes – fashion
designers and interior designers are the latest to be charmed
by the woven fabric
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz returned
to Saudi Arabia on February 23 after an absence of three months to a
stunning and spontaneous welcome from his people. The entire nation
celebrated the arrival of King Abdullah and prayed for his long and healthy
life. SABIC heartily joined in the celebrations, paying tribute to a leader
whose support has been crucial to the company’s growth and international
stature. The Cover Story captures the mood in the country upon the King’s
return to Riyadh.
Businesses are never short of challenges. If the economic downturn was the
worst short-time challenge for business over the past two years, the most
important long-term issues are undoubtedly related in one way or other to
the larger question of Sustainability – in the broadest sense of the word as
used in today’s business. There is no single package of solutions to tackle
the multi-fold issues of Sustainability, but there is growing recognition that
Innovation is, and will be, a large part of the solution.
While the concept of Innovation is perhaps older than the light bulb,
what gives it new currency is the realization that organizations need to
work harder to develop a mindset and a Culture of Innovation to meet
the challenges of tomorrow. From planetary issues down to the question
of creating stakeholder value, and reducing industrial pollution and
eliminating or controlling waste, as well as for businesses to look out and
reach out, Innovation seems to be the key. The feature on Innovation
explains why it is a key strategic pillar in SABIC’s Vision 2020, and how the
company will strive to achieve a new Culture of Innovation.
The latest example of innovative thinking and Sustainability at SABIC comes
from the Mt. Vernon plant, where a five-year effort by crossfunctional
teams has resulted in significant waste reduction and value addition. The
story comes in the wake of other similar stories from SABIC sites in Saudi
Arabia and elsewhere about converting waste and pollution into valueadded products.
Alongside its regular features, this issue has two
interesting Human Resource stories. SABIC Learning
and Development has drawn up a new global
curriculum to educate and train the company’s
leaders of tomorrow. The program is tailored to
the needs of a global company for managers who
are enabled to do business in any part of the world
with ease. From China comes news that the SABIC
campus recruitment this year has drawn excellent
results from local students.
The CSR feature is led by SABIC’s commitment
to help Saudi Arabia fight drug addiction. The
company has joined hands with the Kingdom’s
Ministry of Interior, committing resources to help
a five-year anti-drug campaign. SABIC Asia Pacific
reports from Korea that SABIC volunteers ventured
out during the harsh Korean winter to help build
shelters, and distribute food and coal to the needy.
SABIC recently won the prestigious King Khaled
Award for Responsible Competitiveness, with
the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority
(SAGIA) recognizing the company’s achievements
in Sustainability, Innovation, CSR, Human Resource
development and other areas. This is an award
that humbles us, and strengthens our resolve to do
even better in the coming years.
January/February 2011 SABIC 03
cover story
SABIC joins the nation in
welcoming King Abdullah
ABOVE The glass facade of
SABIC headquarters is decked
up with full-length banners
extending a warm welcome to
King Abdullah opposite King
Abdullah at a 2009 ceremony
to mark the inauguration
of SABIC’s projects in Jubail
Industrial City
SABIC joined in the
national celebrations
on February 23 to
mark the return of
Custodian of the Two
Holy Mosques King
Abdullah bin Abdulaziz
Al-Saud to Saudi Arabia
after spending three
months abroad for
medical treatment. The
King landed in Riyadh
to a spontaneous and
affectionate welcome
from the people of Saudi
Arabia, everyone joining
in the celebrations and
prayer, wishing him a
long and healthy life.
King Abdullah had
04 SABIC January/February 2011
left the Kingdom in
November for New York
to treat a slipped spinal
disc. A month later,
the King travelled to
Casablanca, Morocco,
where he had been
recuperating after
two surgeries.
The Kingdom was in
a festive mood as the
news of King Abdullah’s
return was announced.
The capital and other
cities were decked up
with national flags and
banners that welcomed
the King. Hundreds
of men performed a
traditional sword dance
on special carpets laid
out at the airport in
Riyadh as part of the
ceremonies welcoming
the monarch. The
Faisaliah Tower, a major
landmark in downtown
Riyadh built with SABIC
steel, glowed in green
light symbolizing the
Saudi flag, and the
streets were filled with
people carrying Saudi
flags along with posters
of King Abdullah. As the
King’s plane touched
down, jet fighters from
the Saudi Royal Air Force
performed spectacular
aerobatics, forming
the Kingdom’s national
symbol of crossed
swords over a palm tree
with their contrails.
SABIC marked the
celebrations in its own
modest way with a fulllength banner spread
across the glass façade
of its headquarters
building, welcoming
the King. The banner,
pictured on the cover,
was befitting a man
known for his strong
encouragement to
economic and industrial
development and
education, among
many other things.
cover story
SABIC’s headquarters
itself, located on the
road linking the airport
and the city, was
opened in 2002 by the
King, who was then
the Crown Prince.
King Abdullah is also
the inspiration and brain
behind the King Abdullah
University of Science
and Technology (KAUST)
with which SABIC enjoys
a strategic partnership
that focuses on scientific
and industrial innovation.
King Abdullah’s
blessings and support
have been vital to the
progress that SABIC
has achieved, both
within Saudi Arabia
and as a leading
international player in
the global chemical and
petrochemical industry.
The King has taken a
personal interest in
SABIC’s development
and progress as was
evident during the many
times he visited the
company’s industrial
complexes in Jubail and
Yanbu – most recently
to inaugurate SABIC’s
significant expansion
projects in Jubail
and YANSAB (Yanbu
National Petrochemical
Company) in Yanbu.
Prince Saud bin
Abdullah bin Thenayan
Al-Saud, Chairman of
the Royal Commission
for Jubail and Yanbu
and SABIC, said the
return of King Abdullah
was an extremely joyful
occasion for the country
and all sections of
society, including the
business community. He
noted that King Abdullah
always took a personal
interest in industrial
development and the
progress of projects
in the industrial cities
of Jubail and Yanbu.
The King has also given
top priority to the
development of human
resources, and both
the Royal Commission
and SABIC have been
working hard to support
education, training
and employment
in the country.
Mohamed Al-Mady,
Vice Chairman and
CEO, SABIC, echoed
similar sentiments. “King
Abdullah has given
unlimited support to
SABIC and its businesses,
which encouraged us to
scale new heights at the
international level. The
King’s encouragement
and support has
been one of the most
important factors
that enabled SABIC
to become a leading
global petrochemical
company,” he said.
King Abdullah
responded to the
nation’s warmth by
issuing several decrees
unveiling new welfare
measures that will
benefit thousands
of Saudi citizens. An
important new measure
is the extension of the
King Abdullah Foreign
Scholarship Program
for another five years.
The program will now
include Saudis studying
abroad on their own
accounts on the basis
of certain conditions.
SABIC’s own
scholarship program
also assists Saudis to
further their education
at top-class universities.
“The return of
King Abdullah
is an extremely
joyful occasion
for the country
and all sections
of society”
Prince Saud bin Abdullah
bin Thenayan, Chairman
of the Royal Commission for
Jubail and Yanbu, and SABIC
January/February 2011 SABIC 05
SABIC wins King Khaled Award
for Responsible Competitiveness
SAGIA acclaims all-round performance and excellence
SABIC has topped
100 other companies
in Saudi Arabia to
win the country’s
prestigious King Khaled
Award for Responsible
Competitiveness. The
Saudi Arabian General
Investment Authority
(SAGIA) award honors
businesses that are
building competitive
advantage by managing
their social and
environmental impact.
In making the firstplace award, which
focused on SABIC’s
performance within
Saudi Arabia, SAGIA
cited SABIC’s excellence
in social responsibility
and sustainability, as
well as its efforts in
human resources, the
grooming of young
leaders, support to
educational and civil
society institutions,
and contribution to
social progress and
These are among
the key components
of SAGIA’s Saudi
Arabia Responsible
Competitiveness Index,
which was established
in 2008 to analyze how
Saudi companies are
building competitive
advantage by managing
their social and
environmental impact.
The annual awards
honored the three
strongest performers
– companies that
have made the most
progress at aligning
06 SABIC January/February 2011
core operations to
environmental and
social development
and in the process
are managing risks,
enhancing productivity,
building brand value
and unlocking new
sources of innovation.
Prince Faisal bin
Khalid bin Abdulaziz,
Governor of Asir Region,
Vice Chairman of the
Board of Trustees of the
and to support
continued, sustainable
development.” He
added that SABIC’s
focus on its employees
and developing their
skills has been critical.
“By adopting best
practices, focusing on
skills development and
building the capacity of
our human talent, we
are continually focused
on achieving the highest
are these seven drivers,
along with examples
of SABIC actions that
led to the Award:
Responsible Business
Climate focuses on how
businesses proactively
support and engage
with governmental
bodies to improve the
business climate for
better transparency,
increased service
delivery and improved
“Throughout its history, SABIC has pursued a
clear and consistent strategy that has helped to
contribute to Saudi Arabia’s global competitiveness
and to support continued, sustainable
development” Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO
King Khaled Charitable
Foundation and
Chairman of King Khaled
Award for Responsible
presented the award
to Mohamed Al-Mady,
SABIC Vice Chairman
and CEO, on January 23,
in conjunction with the
Global Competitiveness
Forum held in Riyadh.
Al-Mady expressed
thanks and appreciation
to SAGIA and to all
SABIC employees for
their dedicated efforts,
which made it possible
for the company to
win the prestigious
award. “Throughout its
history,” he said, “SABIC
has pursued a clear and
consistent strategy that
has helped to contribute
to Saudi Arabia’s
global competitiveness
levels of performance.”
Al-Mady stressed that
SABIC’s participation in
the country’s Responsible
Competitiveness Index
initiative is also an
important indication of
the company’s desire
to achieve continued
strong growth while
recognizing the need
for sustainability.
He underscored the
importance of giving
back to the community
by providing charitable
contributions and
support for the national
development agenda.
The Saudi
Arabia Responsible
Competitiveness Index
assessed SABIC and over
100 other participating
companies across seven
dimensions of corporate
performance. Following
productivity. SABIC has
made, and continues
to make, strong
investments in supply
chain, distribution and
manufacturing efficiency
and sustainability. The
company’s global reach
means it has access
to global markets and
global best practices;
SABIC is actively engaged
with global trade
associations, and leads
the Gulf Petrochemical
and Chemical
Association (GPCA) in
the region, initiating
important programs
such as Responsible Care.
Smart Philanthropy
looks at how companies
make and manage
charitable contributions
and the impact of
contributions on
achieve environmental
footprint reduction,
save energy, reduce
waste and create more
sustainable products.
Four new SABIC research
laboratories are under
development, in Saudi
Arabia, China and
India. These will add
to the capabilities
already in place at the
company’s technology
and application centers
located in different
parts of the world.
supporting the national
development agenda.
SABIC has adopted a
clear strategy designed
to deliver high-impact
results for key areas
of need, including
education for science
and technology, water
management and
sustainable agriculture,
and environmental
responsibility. Within
Saudi Arabia, the
company supports
local, regional and
national needs, including
programs for orphans
and the disabled,
training and education,
health and environment,
disaster and relief
campaigns, cultural
activities, and sports.
Attracting and
Developing Talent
covers employee
benefits, activities
to build local talent
and promote gender
equality. At SABIC, to
be an employer of
choice is a strategic
goal. The company
offers competitive
compensation and
benefits, extensive
learning and career
growth opportunities,
and in 2010 introduced
a global employee
satisfaction survey that
will help continue to
develop strong programs
and an environment that
drives both performance
and satisfaction.
Business Standards
and Compliance
assesses adherence to
international treaties and
corporate governance.
Integrity has always been
at the core of SABIC’s
business. Processes and
systems include a Code
of Ethics and training
that addresses risk areas
including corruption and
bribery, anti-competitive
behavior and
compliance with local
laws and regulations.
Responsible Supply
Chains examines how
companies are working
to improve social
ABOVE Prince Faisal bin Khaled
bin Abdulaziz presents the
award to Al-Mady
and environmental
issues along their
supply chain. SABIC
has adopted socially
and environmentally
responsible supply
chain improvements
through the EMDAD
project, which is making
significant investments
in product storage and
distribution systems
aimed at increasing
efficiency, service
and safety while
reducing cost and
environmental impact.
Product Service
and Innovation
examines how firms
identify new market
opportunities and
their recent innovation
performance. SABIC has
doubled its innovation
funding in recent
years. The company’s
Sustainability Program
has established specific
and measurable goals to
examines the
transparency of
companies on social
and environmental
issues and how they
engage with customers.
SABIC’s Sustainability
Program is building on
its sustainability progress
to date with even
greater focus, resources
and commitment.
The company actively
engages with customers
at trade shows, where
it regularly showcases
a wide variety of
sustainable materials
and solutions designed
to help its customer
better meet their – and
the world’s – fastgrowing needs.
The King Khaled
Award for Responsible
was launched in
2008 by King Khaled
Charitable Foundation
in cooperation with
SAGIA to encourage
social responsibility
and sustainability best
practice in the Saudi
business sector.
January/February 2011 SABIC 07
Net profits increase 138% to SR 21.59 billion
SABIC has announced
interim financial results
showing that its net
income for 2010 was
SR 21.59 billion – an
increase of 138 percent
from the net income
of SR 9.07 earned in
2009. The earnings
per share for the year
was SR 7.20, compared
with SR 3.03 for the
same period in 2009.
Gross profit for 2010
was SR 48.54 billion,
up 70 percent from SR
28.62 billion for 2009.
Income from
operations for the
12-month period was SR
37.83 billion, compared
with SR 18.80 billion
in 2009, an increase
of 101 percent.
SABIC’s net income
for the fourth quarter of
2010 was SR 5.81 billion
– a 27 percent increase
over SR 4.58 billion
for the corresponding
period in 2009 and a 9
percent increase over SR
5.33 billion for the third
quarter of 2010. Gross
profit for the quarter
was SR 13 billion, an
increase of 29 percent
over SR 10.04 billion for
the fourth quarter of
2009. representing an
increase of 29 percent.
Income from
operations for the
fourth quarter ended
December 31, 2010
amounted to SR 10.01
billion, compared with
SR 7.78 billion for the
corresponding quarter
in 2009, representing an
increase of 29 percent.
The increase in
net income in 2010
was attributed to the
improvement in the
sales prices of most
petrochemicals and
plastics products, as well
as improved operating
performance resulting
in increased production
and sales quantities.
In December,
ABOVE The interim financial
results being announced
at a press briefing at SABIC
the SABIC Board of
Directors met under
the chairmanship of
Prince Saud bin Abdullah
bin Thenayan Al-Saud,
Chairman of the
Royal Commission for
Jubail and Yanbu and
Chairman of SABIC, and
decided to recommend
dividend payments of SR
6 billion to shareholders
for the second half of
2010 at SR 2 per share.
Shareholders listed
on Tadawul at the end
of trading on the date
of the meeting of the
General Assembly,
expected to be held
in April 2011, will be
eligible to receive
dividends. The total
recommended dividends
to shareholders for 2010
is SR 10.5 billion, at SR
3.5 per share. SABIC has
already paid dividends
of SR 4.5 billion for
the first half of 2010
at SR 1.50 per share
in August. The Board
acknowledged and
praised the contribution
of SABIC employees
to the company’s
performance in 2010.
First acetone consignment from
SAUDI KAYAN shipped to India
The first export batch of about
1,600 metric tons of acetone
produced at SABIC affiliate
Saudi Kayan Petrochemical
was shipped in January from
Jubail port to India, setting
the record of the first acetone
export from the Middle East.
Acetone is a part of the
phenolic chain used to make
Methyl Methacrylate (MMA),
Polycarbonate (PC), solvents,
08 SABIC January/February 2011
adhesives and paints, and
part of SABIC’s Performance
Chemicals portfolio.
SABIC said the acetone was
shipped to manufacturing
customers in India, and that
some of the acetone produced
at the plant will be also used
by other units at SAUDI KAYAN
to produce high-value PC.
The 140,000 metric tons
a year acetone plant is
part of SAUDI KAYAN’s 5.5
million metric tons per year
petrochemical complex in
Jubail Industrial City. Part of the
production from the complex
will feed downstream business
growth in Saudi Arabia.
SABIC Vice Chairman and
CEO Mohamed Al-Mady
noted that the company
is diversifying its product
portfolio in pursuit of longterm profitable and sustainable
growth. He said that the
Performance Chemicals SBU
would be one of the main
drivers of SABIC’s diversification
strategy as the company
implements its 2020 vision of
being the world’s preferred
leader in chemicals.
SABIC owns 35 percent
of SAUDI KAYAN, with
20 percent owned by
Al-Kayan Petrochemical
Company, and 45 percent
by public shareholders.
‘Best-in-class innovations’ for OEMs
bring in Aviation Week award
SABIC Innovative
Plastics has won an
award in Aviation
Week’s first annual
Suppliers’ Innovation
Challenge competition,
recognizing new and
recent technology
developments by
tiered suppliers in the
aerospace and defense
industry. The company’s
lightweight, rigid
Ultem* polyetherimide
(PEI) foam, used as
the structural core in
multi-layer systems
for aviation interior
components, won the
Composites category.
According to
Aviation Week, winners
“represent the bestin-class, potential
innovations.” This
achievement illustrates
SABIC Innovative
Plastics’ strong focus
on partnering with
aviation industry OEMs
to help them meet
tough safety, regulatory,
sustainability and
economic requirements
through innovation.
“SABIC Innovative
Plastics is honored
to receive industry
recognition for Ultem
foam, a material that
offers a broad range of
benefits to our aviation
customers worldwide,”
said Kim Choate, Global
Ultem Product Market
Leader, SABIC Innovative
Plastics. “This structural
foam is an exceptionally
lightweight form of our
world renowned Ultem
thermoplastic resin,
which has proven its
value over more than 20
years of use in aviation
applications. Ultem foam
is a major innovation
that can help drive
greater improvements
in flame retardancy,
fuel economy, lower
greenhouse gas
emissions and design
flexibility helping airlines
achieve their business
and sustainability goals.”
Ultem foam enables
aircraft designers to
leverage the best-in-class
“SABIC Innovative Plastics
is honored to
receive industry
recognition for
Ultem foam,
a material that
offers a broad
range of
benefits to
our aviation
Kim Choate, Global Ultem
Product Market Leader, SABIC
Innovative Plastics.
flame, smoke, toxicity
(FST) performance of
Ultem resin in a form
that is 10-20 times
lighter than traditional
plastic components. It is
an ideal thermoformable
core material for
composite structures
such as luggage bins,
galleys and lower wall
panels (dado panels).
Ultem foam meets
Ohio State University
(OSU) performance
levels below 50/50, and
offers low moisture
absorption, excellent
energy absorption
and low dielectric loss.
It is also transparent
to radar. The Ultem
foam product family
comprises grades with
three different densities.
The Suppliers’
Innovation Challenge
awards program,
sponsored by Aviation
Week and Defense
Technology International,
received submissions
from 80 organizations.
They were reviewed
by a distinguished
panel of nine judges
on the basis of value
provided to primes and
subcontractors through:
• Design innovation that
changes product size,
weight or capability
• Simple alternatives
to a complex and
costly product design
• Technology
breakthroughs that
provide new or
substantially improved
*Trademark of SABIC
Innovative Plastics IP Bv
January/February 2011 SABIC 09
New integrated document management
Contract with OpenText to benefit SABIC users worldwide
Houtermans (left) and
Bosman sign the SABIC-Open
Text agreement
SABIC has signed a
contract with Open
Text Corporation for
the worldwide roll-out
of a single Enterprise
Content Management
solution (ECM). The
global agreement
was signed at SABIC’s
European Head Office
in December by Marc
Houtermans, SABIC’s
Global IT Leader,
and Ingrid Bosman,
Country Manager for
OpenText in Benelux.
The OpenText ECM
Suite provides various
features including
document management,
records management
and integration with
SAP and Microsoft
SharePoint. SABIC will
deploy the ECM solution
to its 37,000 users
worldwide. The idea is
to provide every user
with a single integrated
environment that
allows them to manage
documents efficiently
and transparently.
As Jos Linden, Global
Program Manager,
SABIC, explains: “Our
business currently uses
a number of different
document management
solutions, but from
a strategic point of
view it is advisable to
migrate to a single,
global ECM solution.
This will make sharing
information easier, and
ensure that we retain
important know-how.
Using a single, central
solution will significantly
improve collaboration
and knowledge-sharing
between offices
around the world.
“This is why SABIC
decided to look for
a supplier offering a
global ECM solution.
During our search,
we used a number
of clearly defined
selection criteria. They
included functionality,
user-friendliness, easy
integration with existing
SABIC IT systems and
processes, and the
total cost of ownership.
OpenText ECM met
all our requirements
and because of their
strategic alliance
relationships with
SAP and Microsoft
SharePoint in particular,
we decided to enter
into an agreement with
them. We consider
the implementation
of OpenText Content
Server at SABIC to be
one of the cornerstones
of our globalization.”
The ECM Project Team
will now start preparing
for deployment. The
first step will involve
defining a global
system architecture
and implementing
the necessary system
components worldwide.
In parallel, the team
will execute a pilot with
the legal department
to develop best
practice for the rollout within SABIC.
An important part of a
successful deployment is
training. Users will need
to learn how to handle
documents within their
own departments.
Therefore, the change
management part will
take more effort then,
the actual technical
Deployment has not yet
been planned, but it will
be executed in a phased
approach starting from
the third quarter of 2011.
Advanced truckloading resource
Al-Mady inaugurates new truck-loading facilities at HADEED
Mohamed Al-Mady,
Vice Chairman and CEO,
recently inaugurated
new truck-loading
facilities for commercial
operations at SABIC
affiliate, Saudi Iron
and Steel Company
(HADEED), in Jubail
Industrial City on
December 28. The
10 SABIC January/February 2011
new facilities include
high-tech loading gates
with sophisticated
scales and advanced
measuring devices that
can raise the daily truckloading capacity from
700 to more than 900
trucks, and more than
650 parking spaces.
The facilities also
include new offices and
truck driver support
utilities. The facilities use
advanced technology
such as precision truck
auto detection and
management, and
tracking systems to
save time and labor.
The inaugural was
attended by Abdulaziz
Al-Humaid, Executive
Vice President, Metals;
Hassan Al-Ghannam
President of HADEED,
Mesned Matroud
Al-Shammari, General
Manager, Manufacturing
Support Division;
and other general
managers of Metals
UC-Boulder, SABIC
explore potential to
strengthen relations
Mohamed Al-Mady,
SABIC Vice Chairman
and CEO, received a
high-profile delegation
from the University of
Colorado at Boulder on
January 18. The CUBoulder delegation was
led by Phillip DiStefano,
Chancellor, and Robert
Davis, Dean of the
College of Engineering
and Applied Science.
The delegation was
accompanied by
Saudi Shoura Council
member Zuhair Fayez.
CU-Boulder is
renowned for its
excellence in physics
and chemistry, and
has produced four
Nobel laureates and
four National Medal
of Science winners. It
offers 3,400 courses
in 150 fields of study
including architecture,
arts and sciences,
business, education,
engineering, journalism,
law and others.
Al-Mady and the
delegation discussed
ways of strengthening
the relationship
between CU-Boulder
and SABIC. Davis
expressed his interest
in seeing SABIC and
the university embark
on a joint research
project. Potential fields
of study mentioned
during the discussions
included plastics and
membrane research.
The visitors were
keen on learning more
about SABIC’s role in
education. Al-Mady
briefed them about
the SABICLearning
Center and the SABIC
Scholarship Program.
The meeting was
followed by a full tour
of SABIC’s permanent
exhibition at the
headquarters. SABIC has
said that it is keen to
develop and strengthen
its relationships with
universities in Saudi
Arabia and around the
world as part of its new
emphasis on innovation.
The delegation earlier
visited the Western
region of Saudi Arabia,
including the SABIC
Research and Innovation
Center at the King
Abdullah University of
Science and Technology
(KAUST). Dr. Abdullah
Al-Amri, External
Network and Ventures
Manager, Technology &
Innovation, and Dr. Atieh
Aburaqabah, Director
of SABIC Research and
Innovation Center at
KAUST, met with the
TOP Al-Mady in conversation
with the UC-Boulder team
ABOVE Visitors at the SABIC
permanent exhibition
Below Visiting delegation
and SABIC staff pose for a
souvenir picture
delegation. The CUBoulder team also held
separate talks with
Professor Choon Fong
Shih, President of KAUST.
The university team’s
Western region tour
included a visit to SABIC
affiliate YANSAB (Yanbu
National Petrochemical
Company), where they
met with Osama Bashik,
President, and toured
the plants. SABIC also
hosted a dinner in
honor of the visiting
team, attended by the
Presidents and General
Managers of SABIC’s
affiliates in Yanbu.
January/February 2011 SABIC 11
Asia Pacific VP visits Tokyo, Moka
SABIC recently reinforced its commitment to
stakeholders in Japan when Ahmed Alumar,
SABIC Asia Pacific Vice President, went on a highly
interactive tour of the country. The road show
from December 14 to 17 took Alumar and the
accompanying team to Tokyo as well as Moka, where
SABIC has offices and manufacturing operations.
The intensive program, also attended by
Takashi Hata, Country Leader and President of
SABIC Japan, covered meetings with SABIC’s key
business partners in Japan, a media briefing with
senior journalists of business and trade press,
a visit to the Saudi embassy in Tokyo to meet
with Abdullah Alshammari, Charge d’Affaires ad
interim, and two employee townhall meetings
– one in Tokyo and the other in Moka.
At the meetings, the two SABIC executives
highlighted the company’s solid performance
in 2010 in Asia as well as globally, and stressed
regional leaders
held cordial
meetings with
several business
partners and
12 SABIC January/February 2011
that SABIC is well on track with its 2020 vision.
The well-attended media briefing was followed
by a private luncheon for 20 of Japan’s top
tier business and trade media in Tokyo. The
briefing resulted in excellent coverage in
leading Japanese business and trade media.
The SABIC regional leaders held cordial meetings
with several business partners and customers
Alumar and and Takashi Hata co-hosted the
employee townhall meetings in Tokyo and
Moka, with about 300 staff in attendance and
employees from Kariya and Osaka participating
via teleconferences.
In addition to the
clockwise Group photo
townhalls, Alumar also
taken at the Tokyo Townhall
held business review
meeting; Regional VP and
country manager at a
meetings with SBU and
Moka plant; and at the media
briefing in Tokyo
corporate function
leaders in Japan.
Finnish delegation explores
potential business collaboration
A commercial delegation
from Finland visited
SABIC headquarters
in Riyadh recently to
learn more about the
company and to identify
areas of potential
business collaboration.
ABOVE SABIC executives in
discussions with the Finnish
The delegation, which
was led by Helena Tuuri,
Head of Unit for Middle
East and North Africa,
Ministry for Foreign
Affairs of Finland, met
with Mosaed Al-Ohali,
Executive Vice President,
Manufacturing; Khaled
Al-Mana, Executive Vice
President, Polymers ; and
Jacobus Vas Haasteren,
Executive Vice President,
Performance Chemicals.
The visiting delegation
comprised several
high profile executives
representing diverse
industries such as the
automotive, lifting
equipment, mining,
construction and
Al-Ohali briefed
the delegation about
SABIC’s history and
business. The discussions
covered several issues
of common interest,
including ways of
strengthening business
ties as part of the
growing relations
between Finland and
Saudi Arabia. The
importance and benefits
of SABIC’s business
partners having a direct
presence in Saudi Arabia
were also discussed.
The Finnish delegation
was given a full tour
of SABIC’s permanent
Talks with French military team
cover civil training expertise
A high-level French
military delegation,
accompanied by
representatives from
the Saudi Ministry of
Defense, visited SABIC
headquarters in Riyadh
on February 12. The
delegation was led
by Major General Eric
Bonmeson, Commander
Saint-Cyr Schools, and
comprised French
Military Attaché Colonel
Paul, Lt. Col. Tariq
Sha’ar of the French
land troops, and Cadet
Thamili of the French
Military College. Yousef
Al-Benyan, Executive
Vice President, Human
Resources, and Samir
Al-Abdrabbuh, Vice
President, Corporate
received the visitors.
During talks between
the two sides, AlBenyan emphasized
the importance that
SABIC gives to investing
in human talent. They
also discussed the
prospects of exchanging
civil training expertise
between SABIC and
the French Saint-Cyr
BELOW SABIC executives with the visiting French delegation
Schools. The delegation
also watched a
documentary on SABIC.
Al-Abdrabbuh made a
brief presentation on the
leading role SABIC played
in the petrochemical
industry. He emphasized
that innovation and
sustainability programs
are key to SABIC’s plans
for further growth,
and underlined the
company’s commitment
to environmental
Abdullah Al-Alweet,
SABICLearning Leader,
briefed the delegation
on the company’s
Learning Center and
its vital role in training
and capacity-building
in the company. The
delegation later visited
SABIC’s permanent
exhibition and listened
to a detailed explanation
of the exhibits by
Fahad Al-Qahtani.
January/February 2011 SABIC 13
exhibitions & conferences
Health care specialty products
showcased at medical show in US
GE picks Valox*, Xylex* resins for new mobile x-ray machine
At the Medical Design and Manufacturing West
(MD&M West) exhibition held at Anaheim, California,
United States, in February, SABIC showcased
specialty materials from SABIC Innovative Plastics
that help medical device manufacturers respond
proactively to the emerging needs of the health
care sector, including increasing regulation,
stronger emphasis on patient-provider safety and
the shift to cost-effective alternative care delivery.
SABIC also announced at the show that GE
Healthcare, a global leader in medical technology,
had selected Valox* resin for the housing and
Xylex* resin for the storage bins of its new
Optima XR220amx1 mobile x-ray machine to
meet the increasing demands being placed on
medical equipment. These high-performance
resins helped GE Healthcare address toughening
requirements for enhanced patient safety and
outcomes, more-efficient care delivery and costeffectiveness with this innovative device, which
brings diagnostic radiology to the patient’s bedside.
At the three-day event, from February 8 to
10, SABIC reinforced its firm commitment to the
medical device industry and emphasized that it is
RIGHT GE Healthcares’ New
Optima XR220amx1 AMS Mobile
Innovative Plastics’ Valox* and
Xylex* resins for the Housing
and Storage Bins
14 SABIC January/February 2011
making continuous investments in technologies
that help customers meet current and future health
care challenges. SABIC highlighted that its specialty
compounds provide fresh approaches to regulatory
compliance and the surge in wireless monitoring
devices for convenient, less-expensive home and
outpatient care. The MD&M is a premier health
care exhibition held annually in the US to showcase
new trends and developments in the sector.
On the regulatory front, SABIC Innovative
Plastics’ LNP* Thermocomp* high specific gravity
(HSG) compounds for radiation shielding address
upcoming changes to the lead replacement
exemption for Category 8 products under the
European Union’s (EU) Restriction of Hazardous
Substances (RoHS) directive. In alternative care
delivery, the company’s LNP Faradex* compounds
integrate protection against interference from
wireless patient monitoring systems increasingly
used in the home or long-term care facility.
“The health care industry is in a period of
dramatic change due to urgent calls for quality
improvements and cost reduction,” said Thomas
O’Brien, Global Product Marketing Director, Health
exhibitions & conferences
Care, SABIC Innovative Plastics. “Medical device
manufacturers are right in the middle of this
process and are looking for answers from suppliers
– including new ways to design and manufacture
to achieve the highest quality, meet new regulatory
requirements, support new care approaches and
drive down costs. Our broad portfolio of specialty
thermoplastic compounds helps device makers
stay ahead of impending government action and
meet new benchmarks for quality and safety.”
When the RoHS directive went into effect
in 2006, medical devices (Category 8) were
given a temporary exemption from lead
restrictions due primarily to the lack of suitable
replacements. However, this exemption
is expected to expire as early as 2012.
Meanwhile, China is intending to mirror the EU
directive in its own regulation, and may echo
enforcement measures adopted by the EU.
LNP Thermocomp HSG compounds from SABIC
Innovative Plastics utilize metallic fillers in a resin
matrix to create HSG compounds that effectively
block radiation, and avoid “hot spots” that can
occur with lead shielding. LNP Thermocomp HSG
compounds offer the potential for cost-effective,
high-volume production, as well as greater design
flexibility for new equipment configurations.
Avoiding the secondary operations required with
lead and gaining the freedom to consolidate
multiple parts can reduce total manufacturing
time, system cost and complexity. These
benefits of LNP Thermocomp HSG compounds
can compensate for the low cost of lead.
Remote health monitoring has been gaining
momentum for several reasons: greater
involvement by patients in their own care;
more timely information for physicians to guide
disease management; and cost reduction
through shorter in-patient stays and lessfrequent office visits. However, with more
wireless devices transmitting signals from the
patient’s home to the doctor’s office or the
hospital, interference is a growing issue.
LNP Faradex compounds utilize electrically
conductive stainless steel fibers in a resin matrix
to provide excellent electromagnetic interference/
radio frequency interference (EMI/RFI) shielding.
Compared to heavy, hard-to-design die-cast
metal layers or part metallization that involves
secondary operations and hazardous processes,
LNP Faradex compounds offer key advantages.
These include design flexibility with available
custom color, avoidance of costly secondary
operations, reduction in cycle times through
efficient injection molding and lower weight
than cast metal.
with SABIC
Plastics on this
project has
been a great
success for our
customers –
and ultimately
their patients”
Guillermo Sander, Global
Marketing Manager, Mobile
DXR, GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare chose Valox V3900WX resin, a highimpact polyester/polycarbonate (PC) blend, to design
for health care industry requirements for increased
safety of patients and improved cost control. Valox
resin provides the exceptional chemical resistance
of polyester to withstand stronger disinfectants
being adopted to combat hospital-borne infections.
For portable equipment such as the GE Healthcare
device, it offers the high impact resistance and
dimensional stability of PC to withstand bumps and
bangs during transport within the hospital. This flameretardant (FR), ultraviolet (UV)-stabilized resin offers
outstanding aesthetics and provides molded-in color
as a cost-effective alternative to traditional painted
metal. It also delivers enhanced processability needed
for molding large, high-quality, precision parts.
Valox resin offers significantly greater design
freedom than metal to create new ergonomic designs.
Broad molded-in color capability allowed GE Healthcare
to achieve a customized bright white color without the
cost and environmental impact of secondary painting.
Inherent color also avoids the problem of paint
scratches and makes the parts easier to clean.
Valox V3900WX resin is an Underwriters
Laboratories (UL) global grade (GG) with a UL746C
F1 all-color rating. The GG designation provides
enhanced flexibility for global customers by allowing
programs to move from one region of the world
to another without the cost and complexity of
material re-qualification. Its FR package provides
a UL 94 V0 rating down to 1.5 mm wall thickness
and a 5VA rating down to 3.0 mm wall thickness.
The Xylex X7519HP resin is a transparent blend
of PC and amorphous polyester. Compared to PC
alone, the addition of polyester provides enhanced
chemical resistance, supporting efforts to reduce
hospital-acquired infections. Polyester also enhances
the resin’s stress crack resistance and permits lower
processing temperatures. High impact resistance
and glasslike transparency make Xylex resin ideal
for storage containers. Like Valox resin, this material
features molded-in color.
“Working with SABIC Innovative Plastics on this
high-visibility project has been a great success for
our customers – and ultimately their patients,” said
Guillermo Sander, Global Marketing Manager, Mobile
DXR, GE Healthcare. “Using Valox and Xylex resins,
we created a portable, easy-to-clean and attractive
‘radiographic room on wheels’. The wide portfolio of
resins and extensive application development services
provided by SABIC Innovative Plastics helped us
optimize the design and improve the performance of
this next-generation diagnostic device.”
SABIC’s O’Brien said: “We’re proud of our more than
15 year close collaboration with GE Healthcare, which
has targeted today’s most critical health care issues.
For this new x-ray device, our materials provide light
weight, chemical resistance, and durability.”
* Trademark of SABIC Innovative Plastics IP BV
January/February 2011 SABIC 15
exhibitions & conferences
Strong display of high-end
portfolio at Arabplast
TOP Al-Mana receives UAE
Minister of Environment
and Water Dr. Rashid Ahmed
Ibn Fahad at the stand, and
explains a SABIC exhibit
above General view of the
SABIC stand at Arabplast
“The event
helped us to
with our
and open new
avenues for
business and
Khaled Al-Mana
SABIC Executive Vice
President, Polymers
SABIC participated in the Arabplast 2011 exhibition
at the Dubai World Trade Center in January, with
a strong display of its polymers portfolio. Visitors
to the exhibition showed particular interest in
SABIC’s polypropylene grades, especially random
co-polymers used to produce clear food packaging
materials, clear thermoforming grades, PET
(polyethylene terephthalate) grades for bottle
applications and sheets, and polycarbonates.
Arabplast 2011, held from January 8 to 11, was
inaugurated by United Arab Emirates Minister of
Environment and Water Dr. Rashid Ahmed Ibn Fahad.
The minister visited the SABIC pavilion where he
was received by Khaled Al-Mana, Executive Vice
President, Polymers. Al-Mana briefed the minister
about SABIC, its global operations and polymer
production facilities.
More than 800 companies from more than
40 countries participated in the 10th edition of
the premier plastic and rubber exhibition in the
Arab world, which showcased the state-of-the-art
manufacturing and packaging solutions as well as
allied products and services. The show this year was
25 percent larger in terms of business participation
compared with 2009, reflecting the high global
demand for plastics and its raw materials and the
Gulf region’s growth as a global petrochemical and
plastics manufacturing hub.
Arabplast is known for the display of the latest
machinery and technology in the industry, making
it an ideal platform for SABIC. This year’s show
covered a wide spectrum of plastics machinery,
plastic and rubber processing technology,
pre- and post-processing systems, plastic
packaging technology, injection moulding, blow
moulding, wrapping technology, extrusions,
chemicals and additives, semi-finished goods,
16 SABIC January/February 2011
engineering plastics and other plastic products.
Published post-event reports quoted organizers
as saying that machinery deals worth over AED 4.6
billion were signed at the exhibition, proving that
regional businesses consider it as an ideal venue to
buy machinery. The show, held concurrently with
Tekno Tube Arabia 2011, attracted 18,680 visitors
from 107 countries, they said.
“For SABIC, Arabplast is an important regional
event. For Middle East’s plastics and rubber
industries, this event is firmly established
as a prime meeting point for buyers and
suppliers. SABIC used the opportunity to
showcase its strengths in polymers, technology,
innovation, global leadership and commitment
to the regional market,” Al-Mana said.
“The event also helped us to strengthen
relationships with our regional customers and
open new avenues for business and partnerships,”
he added.
Arabplast is jointly organized by Al Fajer
Information and Services and German exhibition
organiser Messe Duesseldorf.
exhibitions & conferences
Interplastica: CIS, Baltics
businesses get a taste of
diverse SABIC products
SABIC, which has registered strong growth in the
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and
the Baltic region over the past two years, had a
prominent presence at the recent Interplastica 2011
in Moscow, Russia. The international trade fair for
plastics and rubber, raw materials, machinery and
equipment was held at the Expocenter Moscow
from January 25 to 28, attracting thousands of
visitors from about 60 countries.
SABIC’s stand focused on the company’s
family of plastic products from Polymers and
SABIC Innovative Plastics SBUs, displaying a
broad range of materials including the latest
product innovations that addressed the needs
of customers in CIS the Baltic. Products for major
industry sectors were showcased, including
infrastructure, packaging, lighting and new energy.
SABIC operates a dedicated sales office in Moscow,
and provides strong logistical network and reliable
supplies to ensure continuous availability of products
and services for customers.
Geert Drummen, Managing Director Eastern
Europe for Polymers, says: “Our participation at
Interplastica was very successfull. Many of our
customers from the CIS (mainly Russia, Ukraine and
Belarus) and the Baltics, and several prospects visited
our stand. A bombing incident at Domodedova
Airport the day before Interplastica started clearly
had an impact on the presence of foreigners in
general, but fortunately that did not affect the
overall result. The design and set-up of the stand
was perfect and we found very interesting leads that
will further boost our sales.”
He is very proud to see how the SABIC Innovative
Plastics and Polymers SBU teams work as one
team. “Coming from different company cultures
we started in the same office at the end of 2008
and that has very much contributed to a quick
integration here in Moscow.”
SABIC has registered strong growth in the region
over the past two years with a well-balanced,
customer-focused portfolio, backed by excellent
logistics. Providing customers with dedicated, handson support throughout the development process
of product grades has proved very successful in
the regional market. “We have expanded our local
presence with additional
ABOVE Business visitors in
expertise and services,
discussion with SABIC teams
and are building longRIGHT the SABIC stand reception
at Interplastica
term relationships with
local converters, resellers and moulders to ensure
that customers receive exactly what they need,
when and where they need it,” says Drummen.
“We are targeting the fast-growing new energy
and energy efficiency sectors such as LED and solar
with a broad range of existing and new products,”
adds Al Ghelani, Regional Manager, Eastern Europe
for SABIC Innovative Plastics. “We are also a major
supplier to other key sectors such as electronics,
automotive and appliances, offering sophisticated
material technology solutions and breakthrough
application development. With a well-established
local team and global technology resources, we
believe we’re well placed to deliver real value to
customers in the CIS and the Baltic nations.”
“The design
and set-up of
the stand was
perfect and
we found very
leads that will
further boost
our sales”
Geert Drummen, SABIC
Managing Director Eastern
Europe for Polymers
January/February 2011 SABIC 17
exhibitions & conferences
New solutions highlighted
at Plastics Caps & Closures
can make a
to lower
system costs
and higher
Guido Croonen, SABIC
Business Manager,
SABIC participated at the Plastics Caps
& Closures 2010 at Brussels, Belgium on
December 1 and 2, highlighting its innovative
polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) materials
and application development capabilities
that can help customers achieve key goals,
including enhanced sustainability, competitive
advantage and a reliable source of supply.
Stephan Eltink, International Account Manager for
Caps & Closures, presented “Culture of Innovation
in Caps & Closures,” on December 1. He highlighted
SABIC solutions that address key industry trends:
creation of more environmentally responsible
products; the growing division between commodity
and value-added closures, and volatility in raw
material markets. Eltink explained how the SABIC
Culture of Innovation is helping customers create,
differentiate and optimize new caps and closures.
SABIC is strongly committed to the caps & closures
industry and offers a unique value proposition:
a global presence, financial stability and reliable
access to assets in both Europe and Middle East
to ensure a steady, long-term supply of resins. To
provide customers a single source for materials and
expertise, the company continues to develop new
PP and PE materials that improve performance,
enhance sustainability and reduce system costs in
applications ranging from healthcare to specialty
and high-volume packaging.
For example, SABIC® HDPE organo grades for still
water caps utilize high-efficiency slurry technology
to help reduce off-flavors while offering a reduced
carbon footprint of up to 17 percent against
conventional gas phase technology.
Mario Scholle, Business Manager HDPE Europe,
18 SABIC January/February 2011
said: “SABIC has successfully tackled the sustainability
challenge of removing residual chemicals from our
HDPE resins to reduce off-tastes from plastic caps.
Traditional methods used a great deal of energy.
We used our innovative slurry process that produces
HDPE with superior organoleptic properties but
requires much less energy. This is a great example
of how SABIC has raised the bar for both product
quality and sustainability.
A number of SABIC resins have been developed to
reduce system costs through optimized processing,
faster crystallization and improved mechanical
properties to enable down-gauging. SABIC® PP
QRYSTAL clarified PP random copolymers for crystalclear overcaps and airless closures enable lower
processing temperatures that reduce energy by up
to 15 percent, cutting costs and emissions.
Guido Croonen, Business Manager, Polypropylene
noted: “Our QRYSTAL grades, which process at lower
temperatures than traditional materials, not only
save energy but also accelerate crystallization and
cooling for shorter cycle times. These innovative
materials can make a significant contribution to
lower system costs and higher productivity.”
To assist customers with application design,
development, testing and process optimization,
SABIC has a dedicated team focused on the caps &
closures sector and a comprehensive sustainability
department. SABIC experts can help customers
target the best materials instead of going through
a time-consuming trial and error process. Technical
specialists collaborate with customer teams early
in the process to align materials with design,
streamline the transition to commercial production
and accelerate time to market.
exhibitions & conferences
Reaching out to Polish plastic converters
At the inaugural AddFilm 2010 technical conference
in Warsaw, Poland for the film and plastics industry,
SABIC projected its broad portfolio of materials for
BOPP (Biaxially-Oriented Polypropylene), cast, blown,
stretch and multi-layer film that support country’s
growing film sector.
Through six presentations at the event, SABIC’s
Poland team highlighted the company’s broad and
expanding array of innovative high-density, lowdensity and linear low-density polyethylene (HDPE,
LDPE, LLDPE) and polypropylene (PP) resins. Led
by Piotr Kwiecien, Managing Director Sales Office
Poland, the team emphasized that SABIC offers
Polish converters a reliable source of supply from its
logistical hub in Kutno, and provides developmental
product assistance and other technical expertise
from its office in Sittard, The Netherlands.
The SABIC presenters covered the following
business and technical topics: Poland’s film industry
and SABIC’s leadership in the market; New multilayer film concepts; SABIC’s new bi-modal HDPE film
grades; New random copolymer PP materials for cast
film and BOPP; New developments in stretch film;
and Blown film advances using LDPE and LLDPE.
SABIC is a major partner in the new AddFilm
conference, demonstrating its strong commitment
to Poland and its rapidly expanding film industry.
SABIC has invested in its local logistical hub to enable
faster delivery of PE and PP resins to converters. In
2011, the company will begin supplying additional
LDPE to the Polish market from Kutno as well,
produced from its plant in Teesside, UK.
The presenters told the conference participants that
SABIC has established strong partnerships throughout
Europe with leading machinery manufacturers –
including Hosokawa Alpine for multilayer film and
bimodal HDPE film and Gruppo Colines for stretch
film – to optimize its materials and better serve the
industry, which has had a very positive effect on the
development of the Polish film market.
“SABIC offers the most comprehensive portfolio
for all types of film, giving our customers a one-stop
shop for all their resin needs,” said Kwiecien. “We
support our portfolio with global reach, financial
stability and reliable access to Middle East feedstocks
ABOVE LEFT oEwa Kurowska,
Bożenna Buczkowska (Atlantic
Polymers), Paweł Szymanowicz
(Szymanowicz i S-ka), Iwona
Brzezińska, Piotr Kwiecie (SABIC
Poland), Tomasz Szymanowicz
(Szymanowicz i S-ka) and Jacek
Łyżwa (Atlantic Polymers) at
ABOVE right Krzysztof
Rozensal (SABIC Technical
Marketing) presenting new
film concepts
“SABIC offers
the most
portfolio for
all types of
film, giving our
customers a
one-stop shop
for all their
resin needs”
Piotr Kwiecien, SABIC
Managing Director
Sales Office, Poland
to ensure a steady, long-term supply of resins. We
continue to develop new grades and concepts, such
as five-layer film, and offer solutions that enhance
sustainability and reduce system costs.”
Innovative Materials
SABIC has introduced several new products to
drive innovation in film. For example, the company
recently announced two new random copolymer PP
grades for cast film and BOPP film applications that
can help meet growing demand for advanced film
technologies such as multi-layer constructions, and
for improved aesthetics and versatility. They provide
significant advantages over homopolymers in a wide
range of packaging applications, enabling converters
to produce film with high clarity and exceptional
sealing and puncture resistance performance.
SABIC also recently unveiled pioneering multilayer concepts in LDPE/LLDPE films that enables
manufacturers to achieve significant cost and
material savings through improved downgauging
options, lower energy consumption and higher
processing speeds. These concepts are comprised of
up to five layers support film packaging applications
in numerous film segments.
“SABIC is strongly focused on improving the
sustainability of its materials and helping customers
achieve their environmental objectives,” said
Krzysztof Rozensal, Technical Marketing Engineer.
“Our multi-layer concepts promote thinner
constructions that reduce material use while
delivering high performance. These concepts also
feature LDPE materials produced with SABIC’s stateof-the-art polyethylene tubular technology that
reduces air emissions significantly while minimizing
energy consumption and waste.”
“SABIC is also developing a new LLDPE material for
cast film that will offer converters lower system costs
through a combination of desirable properties,”
noted Rozensal. “Our investment in new products,
together with key industry partnerships and local
infrastructure, are all proof of SABIC’s strong
commitment to film solutions that drive down costs
for customers and provide enhanced performance
for end users.”
January/February 2011 SABIC 19
Waste to value
SABIC Innovation Plastics’ Ultem* resin plant at Mt.Vernon
introduces a new process that converts waste into
commercial value sodium nitrite, halting 20 years of
incineration and reducing associated environmental impact
Determined efforts by cross-functional teams at
SABIC Innovative Plastics’ Mt. Vernon site resulted in
converting the bulk of a waste stream from Ultem
resin production into commercial sodium nitrite,
adding considerable value and significantly reducing
the environmental footprint.
A basic tenet of sustainability is that resources,
20 SABIC January/February 2011
especially non-renewable resources, must be used
efficiently to maximize the quantity of products
that benefit society and to minimize the quantity of
resources wasted or used to produce undesirable
goods. It is common knowledge that a number of
chemical processes produce waste materials that
must be disposed of or treated: some are sent
to landfills, others are incinerated or treated in a
wastewater treatment facilities.
Sustainability demands that manufacturing plants
and teams make conscious efforts to eliminate or
minimize production of waste while maximizing
output. At times, some of what is dismissed as waste
may find use elsewhere as feedstock for another
product, resulting in significant value addition and
reducing environmental pollution.
Several projects that SABIC has executed over
recent years are good examples of creative
sustainable solutions, with one of the most recent
ones winning an internal Leadership Award in the
‘EHSS’ (Environment, Health, Safety and Security)
category. The inspiring story from SABIC’s Ultem*
resin production plant at the Mt. Vernon is a great
example of how innovative thinking and concerted
efforts by dedicated cross-functional teams can
result in sustainable profitability for the company.
Top: Tom Guggenheim, Jake
Oberholtzer, Tom Fink, Dan
Malone, Joe Castrale, Lioba
Kloppenburg, Philip Angermeier,
Al McMahon, Ben Johnson
From Left, Bottom: Dennis
Clevenger, Randy Northrop,
Mike Buchanan, Dave Perkins,
Tom Pace, Chris Poirier, Bob
Greenwell, Tom Sommerfield,
Josh Croll
Not Pictured: Jamuna
Chakravarti, Tammy Moor,
Paul Roscoe, Sandeep Dhawan,
Byantha Paul, Feng Cao.
SABIC’s Ultem* resin family of amorphous
thermoplastic polyetherimide (PEI) resins offers
outstanding elevated thermal resistance, high
strength and stiffness, and broad chemical
resistance. These properties have allowed Ultem
resin to be utilized in several businesses including
aerospace, automotive, healthcare and electronics.”
Ultem resin is SABIC’s proprietary product,
and is produced in Mt. Vernon, Indiana, and
Cartegena, Spain. The complex process chemistry
practiced in Mt Vernon involves six chemical
reactions in three different solvent matrices and
three molten isolation steps. Sodium nitrite is
generated in one of these reactions and was
until recently isolated as a waste stream from
one of the desired intermediate monomers.
The waste material generated during
the production of Ultem resin has been
incinerated for more than 20 years. Aware of
the environmental impact of waste treatment,
including transportation and incineration
costs, the business has been actively looking
at various solutions to reduce or eliminate the
waste or find alternative value-add options.
From the outset, it was clear for the plant
management that success would come only if
there is seamless cooperation between crossfunctional teams. The project team included
staff from Technology, Central Engineering,
Manufacturing, Sourcing and EHSS. The team’s
commitment and perseverance over five years
of technical and developmental work yielded
paid off handsomely when the company
implemented a new solution in 2010.
The project team included: Josh Croll, Tom
Guggenheim, Lioba Kloppenburg, and Feng Cao
from Technology, Chris Poirier and Dan Malone from
Central Engineering, Randy Northrop from Sourcing,
Ben Johnson from Manufacturing, Dave Perkins,
Steve Dimond and Al McMahon from EHS. Many
other people helped bring this project to fruition,
and though not named here, deserve a large
amount credit for this achievement.
The effort resulted in the development of a
process to extract and purify commercial quality
sodium nitrite from the waste stream and led to
commercialization efforts with several sodium
nitrite customers. The project team implemented a
purification process involving the carbon absorption
of organic impurities contained in the by-product
stream at a toller, CHEM Group Inc., to produce a
usable grade of sodium nitrite from this wasted
by-product stream, which led to commercialization
efforts with several sodium nitrite customers.
One validation customer, BioChem Resources
(BCR), now uses the sodium nitrite from SABIC
to convert municipal wastewater sludge
into class A fertilizer. Another validation
customer, SUN Chemical, now uses the
material for the production of pigments.
Tom Guggenheim, Chief Scientist in the SABIC
Technology team says: “The biggest challenge was
developing a purification process that met SABIC’s
business objectives. A key part of this development
was extracting and purifying pilot quantities of the
sodium nitrite to validate with our customers.”
Adds Sandeep Dhawan, High Performance
Polymers Global Technology Manager: “The team
had to get creative in finding a solution that met our
investment hurdles while solving a major strategic
business objective. This was a delicate balance and
we explored many different options during the initial
years. In the end, our solution provided both costout and sustainability benefits.”
The nitrite purification process enables 90 percent
“The team had to get creative in finding a solution that met our
investment hurdles while solving a major strategic business objective.
This was a delicate balance and we explored many different options
during the initial years. In the end, our solution provided both cost-out
and sustainability benefits”
Sandeep Dhawan, SABIC High Performance Polymers Global Technology Manager
January/February 2011 SABIC 21
reduction in the overall waste treatment cost to
produce Ultem resin. It is estimated that these
savings will result in a $ 5 million Total Cost Out
opportunity. Perhaps more importantly, the process
reduces the environmental impact of the Ultem
resin business by recovering 10,000 tons per year of
this by-product stream. This material is now purified
and sold as a raw material into various applications,
thus reducing overall Mt. Vernon offsite nonhazardous waste shipments by 10 percent.
“This is an excellent example of conserving raw
materials and turning by-products into value added
materials. It also demonstrates how improved cost
and increased revenue can be achieved through
eco-efficiency projects,” notes Ken Miller, General
Manager, Sustainability at SABIC.
This is not the first SABIC success story in
converting waste by-products into value-added
products and effective use of non-renewable
raw materials. Metals SBU’s success in finding
commercial use for waste metallic dust, Fertilizers’
success with finding use for ammonium sulfate
dust by-product, SABIC Innovative Plastics’ selling
of spent process catalyst as a product to a
copper reclaimer instead of disposing of as solid
waste, and Performance Chemicals’ conversion
of I-C5 from Chemicals for use as a coolant are
all great examples of sustainability payoff.
RIGHT Stainless steel storage
tank for nitrite by-product
prior to purification
opposite Specially designed
nitrite by-product separation
vessel installed in Ultem resin
production process
22 SABIC January/February 2011
“As SABIC continues its sustainability journey,
we expect to have more examples of this type of
sustainability improvement in the years ahead,” says
Gretchen Govoni, SABIC Sustainability Manager. She
notes that the concept of using raw materials wisely
is a multi-pronged approach that will result in several
different types of actions at manufacturing affiliates.
The starting point is that every manufacturing
operation reviews its processes with the defined
goal of reducing production of waste that must
be treated using incineration, dumped in a landfill
or disposed by any other method. This should also
include checks aimed at minimizing or eliminating
process losses such as venting, spilling or flaring.
Another aspect would be to study the potential to
upgrade waste, loss and low-value by-products such
as scrap and off-specification products to make
higher value products that are in demand.
SABIC, which operates a number of worldclass affiliates in Jubail and Yanbu, has already
been looking at the possibility of integrating
and exchange of excess materials between
sites, which is yet another approach to reducing
waste and increasing efficiency. This integration
and upgrade approach closely matches the byproduct synergy concept, which is an approach
endorsed by the World Business Council for
Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
*Trademarks of SABIC Innovative Plastics IPBV
“This is an excellent example
of conserving raw materials
and turning by-products into
value added materials. It also
demonstrates how improved
cost and increased revenue
can be achieved through ecoefficiency projects”
Ken Miller, General Manager, Sustainability at SABIC
January/February 2011 SABIC 23
24 SABIC January/February 2011
Creating a new culture
SABIC shapes a new strategy and invests in new programs to ingrain a
culture of innovation that will help drive future growth, emphasizing
that it is everybody’s responsibility to innovate
January/February 2011 SABIC 25
ABIC’s creation was perhaps economic
and developmental innovation at its
best because it began with the idea
of capturing flared gases and turning
them into value-added products,
and in the process building a worldclass petrochemical industry. Even as SABIC’s
first three decades were focused on establishing
the industry, a global supply network, and
ensuring consistent growth and shareholder
value, there was considerable emphasis on
Research and Development and technological
innovation. The new strategy is designed to
make innovation an organizational mindset,
taking it beyond the realm of technology.
26 SABIC January/February 2011
Although innovation has become a buzz word which
everybody uses, people still understand it differently. It
is important to know that innovation is different from
inventions, typically produced by classical R&D work.
Inventions are about turning (usually R&D) money into
knowledge; innovation, however, turns knowledge
into money. For SABIC, innovation is about creating
business value and therefore can and should happen
everywhere in the company.
“As a global company with a strong resource
base and an ambitious vision, SABIC has an equally
ambitious agenda for innovation. We are putting in
place the vital resources and structure to meet the
challenges of the future and for SABIC to adopt and
sustain a culture of innovation. The idea is for the
BELOW SABIC’s global
Technology and Innovation
entire organization to secure an innovation mindset,
similar and as widespread as our attitude to safety,”
says Dr. Abdulrahman S. Al-Ubaid, Executive Vice
President, Technology and Innovation.
Al-Ubaid explains that innovation-led growth
became a major objective with the restructuring
of SABIC organization in 2009, when Research and
Technology (R&T) was renamed Technology and
Innovation (T&I). SABIC leaders led by Vice Chairman
and CEO Mohamed Al-Mady, have emphasized since
then that the corporate vision of becoming the
preferred chemical company in the world hinges
partly on the company’s ability to innovate. “We
now have the total commitment of our leadership,
and with it comes the tools, mechanisms and
incentives to try and embed the new culture of
innovation,” he adds.
The new global innovation strategy and structure
are the result of nearly two years of intensive team
work involving several senior executives at various
levels. Noting that innovation and sustainability at
SABIC will go hand-in-hand, Al-Ubaid acknowledges
key contributions to the innovation strategy made
by Frank Kuijpers, Fahad Al-Sherehy, Ken Miller,
Thomas Stanley and Waleed Al-Shalfan. Dr. Joachim
von Heimburg, who joined SABIC in April 2010 as
General Manager, Innovation & Corporate Programs
(I&CP), is now taking the program forward, giving it
the momentum it needs.
Heimburg, a leading innovation practitioner, has
led similar corporate programs before. Besides, he sat
on the Innovation Task Force of the European Policy
Center, a think-tank for the European Union, and
was also a member of the Research and Innovation
Committee of CEFIC, the European Chemical Industry
Council. He holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from
the University of Marburg, Germany, and studied
economics at the University of Frankfurt, Germany.
“We now
have the total
commitment of
our leadership,
and with
it comes
the tools,
and incentives
to try and
embed the
new culture of
Dr. Abdulrahman S.
Al-Ubaid, Executive Vice
President, Technology and
Contrary to what one might surmise, I&CP is not
tasked with developing innovative products.
“Our job is to create an innovation culture and
competence within SABIC that should fuel
innovation-led growth for SABIC across the whole
company. So, our job is to redefine how we achieve
innovation – in other words, to innovate how we
innovate. It is about creating the right environment
and helping and guiding people to innovate,” says
Heimburg, unrolling the new SABIC innovation vision
and strategy.
Why does SABIC need a new model, and a new
direction? After all, SABIC Technology and Innovation
with its Technology Centers and Global Application
Technology Centers have been clearly focused on
research and innovation.
The new thinking is the result of long-term
analysis, and SABIC’s determination to sustain and
strengthen its position in the long term. SABIC has
embraced the challenge to become the preferred
global chemical company and with this, has
committed to ambitious growth targets for this
decade. It is clear to SABIC’s leaders that a significant
amount of future growth has to be secured by
exploiting all potential resources and ideas, and by
enabling people to add value to businesses.
Al-Ubaid cites SABIC leadership’s emphasis on
the need to face the challenges of sustainability,
and within it, the issues of CO2² management and
carbon footprint. Innovation is the way to manage
those long-term issues whilst generating profitable
business growth.
January/February 2011 SABIC 27
Hans Kolnaar (left) Manager
Innovation and Venturing,
and Henk Verhoogt (right),
Head of Ideation and
Innovation, the project
owner and project leader,
proudly present MYIdea logo
MYIdea pilot launched in Europe
On January 10, SABIC
launched ‘Market
Your Idea’ (MYIdea)
as a pilot project in
Europe, encouraging
and inviting staff
to think up viable
and compelling new
business ideas that
could be developed
into SABIC businesses.
Upon completion of
the six-month pilot
project, MYIdea is
28 SABIC January/February 2011
likely to become a
SABIC global initiative.
During the first
phase, SABIC staff in
Europe will have the
opportunity to submit
their ideas. A panel of
SBU and Technology
& Innovation
specialists will study
all submissions and
provide detailed
feedback. The
originators or leaders
of approximately
20 ideas that are
deemed to show the
greatest potential will
be invited to present
their ideas at two
‘marketplace’ events.
The panel will
short-list five of the
most promising
teams which will
have the opportunity
to develop the idea
further to progress
to the Innovation
Camp phase. The
teams will undergo
rigorous training and
coaching as they
continue to develop
their ideas. The
teams will receive a
prestigious Innovation
Camp Award and
the most promising
will be invited to
present to the
Grand Jury in June.
The idea(s) selected
by the Grand Jury
panel of Executive
Vice Presidents and
chaired by Mohamed
Al-Mady, SABIC
Vice Chairman and
CEO, will begin an
incubation period
followed by project
under the guidance
of the new SABIC
Innovation Fund.
Indeed the emphasis on innovation has become
a global trend, although the contexts may
vary for companies and regions. International
surveys have consistently confirmed that business
leaders around the world consider innovation as
extremely important to their growth strategy.
According to a McKinsey Global Survey last year,
many of the challenges associated with innovation
such as finding the right talent, encouraging
collaboration and risk taking, organizing the
innovation process from beginning to end, have
remained remarkably consistent in recent years
among global players. The survey identified
organization as the biggest challenge to innovation
performance, while other priorities were the
creation of a culture that fosters innovation,
commercializing new businesses, selection of
the right ideas, and managing a portfolio.
‘To innovate how we innovate’ is not a one-time
intervention to be over and done with in a couple
of months. It is a long journey which requires
persistent commitment and engagement of the
whole organization. Here company culture plays an
important role. Simply put, culture is the way things
get done and defines what counts. It has a major
impact on innovation capability and is key for long
term, sustainable success.
Embracing a culture of innovation requires dealing
with change and risk. SSo innovative companies
must be capable to:
• Learn and adapt to change in ways that increase
business performance
• Manage risk as it cannot be avoided when changing.
• Learn from failures but fail early and cheaply in
order to control the cost of learning.
If the challenge is to take innovation beyond the
realm of technology and to make it everybody’s
business, the question is how. Here’s the importance
of innovation’s role in turning knowledge into
money. The process of creating business value can
and should happen everywhere in the company. It
does not replace but complements classical R&D
work which will continue in parallel in order to create
new knowledge.
Innovation does not necessarily need a new
invention. Take Apple’s I-Pod. Apple did not invent
anything new around the I-Pod player but created
an innovative business model for music-on-the go,
using existing MP3 technology in a very appealing
design, notes Heimburg.
But what about a creative colleague within SABIC
who wants to pursue an innovative idea? Market
Your Idea (MYIdea), launched recently in Europe as
a pilot program (see page 28), provides the idea
originator an opportunity to groom it into a business
plan. But MYIdea is more than a tool to create new
business ideas -- it is a very strong message from
the company to all its employees that SABIC takes
innovation seriously and that everybody can and
should contribute to innovation. “Innovation is not
something you can delegate,” notes Heimburg,
pointing out that most often there is an individual’s
idea behind commercial successes.
Al-Ubaid says collaboration with innovators at large
is another strong feature of the new approach. As
the world has become more innovative, plenty of
new ideas and innovations in all fields of science
and technology are cropping up outside the walls of
corporate and university laboratories.
“There are more inventors and innovators
relevant for our businesses outside SABIC than
within the company. There is a lot of technology
development and innovation going on around the
world, in particular in SMEs (small and medium
enterprises). SABIC wants to engage with those
innovators through a process that we call corporate
venturing,” he says.
Such corporate ventures will be financed by a new
SABIC Innovation Fund. “SABIC’s idea of creating
this fund is not primarily to generate profit from
the invested capital in the short term. We are not
approaching innovation with the conventional
mentality of a venture capitalist towards return on
investments (ROI). Our immediate ROI may be zero
in terms of cash short term, but invaluable in terms
of new knowledge, access to new technologies
and potential to create new revenue streams and
businesses,” adds Al-Ubaid.
In addition to bringing innovation into
SABIC from the outside, a broader, proprietary
technology plate will be a further, new pillar
for SABIC’s future growth. “This will be achieved
by building a portfolio of breakthrough technology
platforms and business models fuelling growth,”
explains Heimburg.
This technology portfolio will be developed
at the corporate level by two new initiatives in
Technology & Innovation. One is the creation
of the corporate SABIC Research and Innovation
Center (CRI), based at the King Abdullah University
of Science and Technology (KAUST) on the
western coast of Saudi Arabia. The CRI will start
operations in 2011, and will employ over 100
scientists. They will conduct research
and technology development programs in areas
relevant to SABIC’s businesses including catalysis,
advanced materials and membranes.
“Secondly, the work at CRI and KAUST
will be complemented by a corporate R&D
program conducted with other universities,
leading research organizations including our
STCs and competent industrial partners. This
will be operated and managed by a separate
group dedicated to research, innovation and
“Our job is to
redefine how
we achieve
innovation – in
other words,
to innovate
how we
innovate. It is
about creating
the right
and helping and
guiding people
to innovate”
Dr. Joachim von
Heimburg, General
Manager, Innovation &
Corporate Programs
January/February 2011 SABIC 29
The new SABIC approach to Innovation will ensure that SABIC businesses and research
and technology centers work closely in generating and advancing new ideas and
thought while at the same time engaging external resources; SABIC’s internal research
and technology network includes the STCs located in different parts of the world
including the Middle East, Europe, USA, India and China.
30 SABIC January/February 2011
technology, with an eye on the emerging
opportunities of science and the industry and
the needs of our customers,” says Heimburg.
Corporate venturing and corporate programs
require reaching out to the world to find the
right partners to work with. Finding them is the
mission of the emerging external network of SABIC
innovation scouts. “Yes, we have SABIC Technology
Centers (STCs) across the world, including China,
India, Middle East, Europe and North America,
but we need to look even beyond to unexplored
locations. We need to venture in regions not
covered by STCs such as Scandinavia, South
America, Brazil or Russia. In places where we have
STCs, we can do more with this new approach. As
STCs’ focus is on the customer and the market,
we are not fully leveraging the external creativity
in countries like India, China and others. So we
need to complement their activities by looking for
partners to innovate with,” Heimburg explains.
Both Al-Ubaid and Heimburg assert that SABIC’s
businesses will have a pivotal role in embedding
a culture of innovation in the company. Al-Ubaid
points out that while Technology and Innovation
will decide on the ‘how’ of pushing forward SABIC’s
innovation agenda by coming up with and providing
the key mechanisms and tools, the ‘what’ will come
mostly from the SBUs who will work closely with
STCs in different parts of the world and the CRI.
Al-Ubaid emphasizes that the culture of
innovation will be a natural evolution for SABIC
from its earlier phase of technological innovation.
Noting SABIC’s early success in transferring
technology to create a Saudi-based petrochemical
industry, he points out that the company has
been on a course of incremental innovation for
a long time. “Over the past decade especially,
we have had significant success with specific
technologies such as LAO, acetic acid and in
polymers. We have attained a lot of depth in the
technology that we secured. The new strategy
will help us build further on those achievements
by acquiring the capability for technology
development and broader business innovation.”
“We have SABIC
Centers (STCs)
across the
world, including
China, India,
Middle East,
Europe and
North America,
but we need
to look even
beyond to
locations. We
need to venture
in regions not
covered by
Dr. Joachim von
Heimburg, General
Manager, Innovation &
Corporate Programs
July/August 2010 31
Top class
Global curriculum to groom next generation of leaders
SABIC Learning and Development (L&D) has
developed a new global curriculum in collaboration
with leading international business schools, aimed
at cultivating the next generation of leaders. The
curriculum consists of programs at three distinct
levels: Emerging, Developing and Experienced.
These programs will be conducted across global
SABIC in 2011.
One of the “Experienced Leaders” level programs
under the new curriculum, titled ‘Leading the
Business’ and developed in collaboration with
London Business School (LBS), was conducted
recently in Riyadh over five days, with 17 managers
from across the SABIC world participating.
The new curriculum has been shaped to address
the challenges and demands of SABIC’s growth as a
global company. “As one new global organization,
we needed to harmonize the various programs
that have been run with success at SABIC in Saudi
Arabia and Europe, and at SABIC Innovative Plastics
in US. Our new curriculum captures the best of
all the training programs with global and regional
participation, and we now have a single nomination
process to ensure that we have the right people for
the right program at the right time,” says Abdullah
OPPOSITE left SABIC Learning
and Development leaders
and LBS instructors with the
17 managers who attended
‘Leading the Business’
speaks about ‘SABIC Values &
Leadership Competencies’
32 SABIC January/February 2011
Al-Alweet, Chief Learning Officer.
Al-Alweet says SABICLearning adopted a strategic
approach to ensure that the new curriculum is
aligned with SABIC’s current and emerging business
needs and talent management challenges, and
to establish partnerships with renowned global
providers of business education and training.
Besides ‘Leading the Business’ with LBS, L&D’s
new curriculum envisages programs with other
reputable global providers, including the Center
for Creative Leadership, based in North Carolina,
USA, and Babson Executive Education, based in
Massachusetts, USA.
David Yeoh, Global Learning Manager - Leadership,
Learning & Development Center of Excellence,
says the new curriculum is built around the
SABIC Leadership Competency Model, with a
clear and targeted focus on Leading Self, Leading
People and Leading the Business. It enables
employees to learn and contribute at three
distinct levels – as an individual, as a team leader
and as a functional manager. The curriculum
also provides flexibility in selecting appropriate
learning solutions based on individual needs
and professional development requirements.
“It was a great
experience to
work closely
with SABIC
from so many
sites all over
the world; it
made the SABIC
business value
of diversity so
and tangible”
Dr. Jens Panitzky, Head
Quality for SABIC
Polyolefins, Gelsenkirchen
The Leading the Business program in Riyadh was
organized along with a few other leadership pilot
programs in Quarter 3 and 4 of 2010, incorporating
feedback and refinements in the final design of the
course. The “Experienced Leaders” level program
is targeted at managers and senior managers who
work in the “middle zone” of the organization –
typically with more than 15 years experience – and
with responsibility for implementing department
strategy and delivering results.
“For this program, we target to have about
24 participants for each course session, which
comprises a global mix of participants from different
regions. We have planned a total of six sessions
to be conducted in 2011 – three in Riyadh, one in
Americas, one in Europe, and one in Asia Pacific. This
means roughly about 140 managers are anticipated
to go through the program in 2011,” says Yeoh.
The program covers a wide range of topics related
to the challenges of running a modern global
business. These included strategy, values, innovative
solutions, customer loyalty, sustainability, global
cooperation and collaboration, financial metrics,
resource building and human resource management,
operational decision-making, managing risks and
scenario challenges, and several more.
The course enables participants to create and
deploy a strategic and value-driven approach
to their business — and to choose appropriate
directions and understand the people resources
and capabilities needed to implement their
plans. Participants must also leave the training
with knowledge of key financial management
concepts that take into account environmental,
customer and shareholde r value.
Peter Long, Program Director from LBS, said:
“This program is geared to SABIC leaders’ making
the vision a reality — learning, for example, how
to shape and use strategy, plan their people
resource needs and use key financial indicators.
We had some fantastic exchanges on key SABIC
priorities such as innovation, sustainability and
achieving operational excellence that culminated
in cross-regional teams presenting their insights
and recommendations on the final day.”
The programs are also resulting in informal SABIC
global networks of managers, enabling them to share
experiences and discuss challenges on an ongoing
basis, and contributing to the making of a global
mindset. For example, the 17 participants from around
the world at the program in Riyadh represented a
cross-section of SBUs and corporate functions, giving
them an opportunity to experience the benefits of the
global approach to learning firsthand.
“The mix of the attendees is a great positive
contributor to removing barriers and ambiguity
among members in SABIC family,” said Abdulla
Abdulmonim Al-Sinan, Manager, Planning, Logistics
and Economics at SABIC affiliate SADAF.
“The training gave me an insight into how a
leader must think and behave, and I now have more
confidence in financial terms. The most valuable part
— networking! I already miss my classmates,” said
Charles Bae, with SABIC’s Innovative Plastics in Seoul.
“It was a great experience to work closely with
SABIC colleagues from so many sites all over the
world; it made the SABIC business value of diversity so
comprehensible and tangible,” noted Dr. Jens Panitzky,
Head Quality for SABIC Polyolefines in Gelsenkirchen.
The program incorporates interactions with
executive leaders from SABIC to review current
business priorities and involves participants’
responding to “scenario challenges” relevant to
SABIC’s businesses. Yousef Al-Benyan, Executive
Vice President, Human Resources, and Mutlaq
Al-Morished, EVP Finance, presented at the
Riyadh program while Homood Al-Tuwaijri, EVP
Corporate Control, also joined the sessions
to mix and interact with participants.
Sustainability featured strongly on the second
day of the program with Adel Al-Shafai, Manager,
Sustainability-Jubail, from the SABIC Sustainability
Team updating participants on goals and progress
to date. Adel set a challenge for a team to return on
the fifth day with a presentation on how to create
market value out of SABIC’s sustainability advances
and the role of all leaders within the company’s
sustainability initiatives. “Leveraging the Learning
Center’s training programs to reach our current and
future leaders is vital to integrating a culture change
like sustainability into our business DNA,” explained
Ken Miller, General Manager, Sustainability.
Leading the Business is planned to run in each
Region throughout the year 2011.
“It was a great week, new learning — including
practical business tools, new insights into
SABIC’s world, new capabilities to apply — and
new ambassadors for talent development
and knowledge sharing — and another step
toward building the learning organization!”
said Al-Alweet, Chief Learning Officer.
January/February 2011 SABIC 33
campus drive
Young talent
drive in
China draws
SABIC’s 2010-11 Greater China campus recruitment
campaign, which was launched in September,
drew excellent response from universities in the
country. The campaign generated more than
6,500 applications from students at China’s leading
universities, and over 57,000 visits to the SABIC
Greater China campus recruitment web page.
This was the first such SABIC campaign in China,
although SABIC Innovative Plastics Business Unit
has been conducting campus recruitment drives
over the years. In the context of the toughening
competitive environment for talent acquisition,
SABIC launched its campaign relatively early, and
34 SABIC January/February 2011
benefitted from being the first mover.
SABIC took the recruitment drive to six of
China’s well-known and respected universities
-- the Huazhong University of Science &
Technology, Tianjin University, South China
University of Technology, Sichuan University,
East China University of Science & Technology
and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Over 1,500
students attended the campus sessions, where
the SABIC team consisting of Human Resurces,
manufacturing, commercial, marketing and
technical functions presented to the students.
The campaign resulted in SABIC appointing
campus drive
LEFT Students at the South
China University of Science
& Technology are all ears
as they attend the SABIC
below LEFT Teresa Zhao,
Product Marketing Director,
Yang Hua, Pacific P&E Process
Leader, and Edward Yin,
Shanghai Plant General
Manager and other SABIC
managers shared their career
insights and experience with
Below right SABIC and
SINOPEC leaders at the Tianjin
University gathering.
“This is a critical program
to ensure that we attract the
best talent and nurture them
into future leaders, so that SABIC
will continue to be competitive
and enjoy sustainable growth
in China”
Li Lei, SABIC Vice President and Head of Greater China Region
20 students after six rounds of interviews as
management and operations trainees. They will
start a two-year rotation program from this April or
July. They were picked from 10 different universities,
including Fudan University, Tongji University,
Zhejiang University, Wuhan University of Science &
Technology, Suzhou University and five of the six
universities that the SABIC team visited. The new
appointees include graduates who have majored in
Polymer Science, Mechanical Design and Chemical
Engineering, among others.
Speaking about the recruitment campaign,
Li Lei, SABIC Vice President and Head of Greater
China Region, noted: “This is a critical program to
ensure that we attract the best talent and nurture
them into future leaders, so that SABIC will continue
to be competitive and enjoy sustainable growth
in China. At the same time, bringing these young
graduates into our teams is just a beginning. A
key focus is to integrate them into our company
culture and let them develop together with their
colleagues, to ensure that we have a balanced
and complementary distribution of skill-sets
and experience across the organization.”
The number of visitors to the recruitment website
this year marked a 70 percent increase over the
last year; the number of applications registered a
50 percent increase. The recruitment process was
rigorous: over 150 candidates were selected for
face-to-face interviews after the screening of the
thousands of applications. The interviews were
held in five different cities – Shanghai, Chengdu,
Guangzhou, Tianjin and Wuhan – by about 30 senior
SABIC executives and HR managers.
Sharing their experience of the SABIC campaign,
the students are all praise for way it was conducted.
According to Xia Rongjie of Tongji University,
the fact that SABIC wrapped up the face-toface interview in one day showed a high level of
efficiency, saving a lot of time for th students.
“The topic for our group interview – pigment
management – was also great. I am looking forward
to being a freshman at such a company, and
hoping to adapt and achieve growth quickly.”
Zhu Hong (Fudan University) said: “It was a
fantastic experience. I want to thank all those who
were involved in this process, which was conducted
so efficiently. I particularly appreciate the fact that
the group case study and subsequent final interview
were arranged on one day.”
Zhang Beijing of Suzhou University hoped that
SABIC will visit his campus in the future. It was clear
from the campaign that SABIC has done a lot of
homework to ensure the success of this campaign,
and the company staff are so helpful. Liu Wenhao
of Shanghai Jiaotong University said SABIC’s campus
recruitment has left a great impression among
students. “I received good instruction on the ODP
(Operational Development Program), and I cherish
the ODP opportunity I have now.”
January/February 2011 SABIC 35
success story
36 SABIC January/February 2011
success story
China’s Zhongcai
picks Geloy* XTW Resin
for window profiles
“This material
is a near
perfect solution
for today’s
because it
provides fresh
and dramatic
aesthetics, long
life and low
Jos Braat, Global Geloy
Resin Product Marketing
Director, SABIC Innovative
LEFT Window Profiles made by
Zhongcai Profiles using SABIC
Innovative Plastics’ Geloy*
XTW Resin
When Zhongcai Profiles Co. Ltd., Zhejiang,
China, needed an advanced materials solution to
manufacture color-rich, high-performance window
profiles for its building and construction customers,
the company turned to SABIC Innovative Plastics.
The solution was Geloy* XTW resin, a high-end
acrylonitrile-styrene-acrylate (ASA) resin that has
become the standard for excellence in co-extruded
window profiles, gutters, siding and roofing for the
building and construction industry.
When used as a cap layer over polyvinyl chloride
(PVC) and other materials, Geloy XTW ASA resin
maintains its color and gloss up to 10 times better
than competitive products. This resin demonstrates
SABIC Innovative Plastics’ unmatched ability to
repeatedly develop breakthrough materials that give
customers a significant differentiator in challenging
market sectors.
“Our highly weatherproof profiles made with Geloy
XTW ASA resin extruded over PVC are among the
company’s premier products and have been a great
success with our customers,” said Li Yugen, General
Manager, Zhongcai Profiles. “The Geloy XTW ASA
resin provides outstanding weathering performance
and resistance to discoloration for extended service
life. This product has helped us become the thirdlargest profile manufacturer in China.”
Another important reason why Zhongcai Profiles
switched to Geloy XTW resin is sustainability.
China’s goals to reduce carbon footprint,
conserve energy and promote recycling are
better served with co-extruded Geloy XTW/PVC
resin profiles than with aluminum. The plastic
window profiles provide better insulation than
aluminum, helping to prevent the loss of heat
from buildings. These recyclable resins also
provide long useful life to conserve resources.
Using Geloy XTW resin, Zhongcai Profiles is
in an excellent position to take advantage of
China’s projected 30 percent annual growth
in the window profiles market by offering a
differentiated product with improved aesthetics,
performance and weather resistance.
“With Geloy XTW resin we have taken weatherable
resin technology far beyond conventional ASAs to
achieve a balance of aesthetics and performance
unequaled in the industry,” said Jos Braat, Global
Geloy Resin Product Marketing Director, SABIC
Innovative Plastics. “This material is a near perfect
solution for today’s residential construction
requirements because it provides fresh and dramatic
aesthetics, long life and low maintenance. By
choosing products made with our new Geloy XTW
ASA resin material, building owners and contractors
can take pride in the beauty and durability of a new
or remodeled home.”
SABIC Innovative Plastics has developed proprietary
processes and compositions for Geloy XTW ASA resin
that significantly improve weathering performance
while maintaining ductility and ease of processing.
Compared to traditionally used ASAs, this highperformance material holds its true color as much as
10 times more effectively.
This technology can play an important part in
creating and maintaining the beauty and value of
residential property. It withstands ultraviolet light,
moisture, extreme temperature, chemicals and
environmental pollutants.
Geloy XTW ASA resins are available in a much
wider range of colors than standard ASA grades. For
example, SABIC Innovative Plastics has developed an
elegant copper shade and is currently working on
a new low-gloss material. The full palette includes
earth tones such as green, brown and gray that
are popular in Asia, and bright chromatic colors for
those interested in making a design statement.
Geloy XTW ASA resins can be co-extruded over
PVC – helping to eliminate “chalking” – as well as
acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS). It offers good
flow to accommodate complex window profile
designs, and delivers excellent impact resistance.
Geloy XTW ASA resins can also be used in other
building and construction applications, such as
doors, fences, wall panels, and pool and spa parts.
Zhongcai Profiles is considering expanding its use of
the resin into co-extruded PVC pipe.
* Trademarks of SABIC Innovative Plastics IP BV
January/February 2011 SABIC 37
success story
Valox iQ* resin gets
its place in Leviton’s
Evr-Green EV charger
SABIC Innovative Plastics announced recently that
Leviton Manufacturing, a North American leader in
electrical devices and systems, has selected Valox
iQ* resin for the housing of its new Evr-Green™
electric vehicle (EV) cord set, a portable charger for
EVs. Valox iQ resin incorporates up-cycled postconsumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from
water bottles and offers molded-in color to avoid
secondary painting. It significantly enhances the
environmental benefits of the Leviton charger and
delivers high electrical and mechanical performance
and custom colorability.
The Valox iQ family of post-consumer recycled
(PCR) content resins is part of SABIC Innovative
Plastics’ newly expanded, broad portfolio of
sustainable solutions, recently launched at K
2010, that help customers develop differentiated,
environmentally responsible products.
“We wanted
to be sure that
our charger not
only facilitates
adoption of
electric cars, but
also minimizes
Michael Mattei, Vice
President and General
Manager, Leviton’s
Business Unit
38 SABIC January/February 2011
“When we created our Evr-Green charging
unit, a key requirement was using sustainable
materials whenever possible,” said Michael
Mattei, Vice President and General Manager,
Leviton’s Commercial/Industrial Business Unit.
“We wanted to be sure that our charger not
only facilitates adoption of electric cars, but also
minimizes environmental impact. We turned to
SABIC Innovative Plastics, a trusted long-term
supplier, because of its leadership in sustainable
materials. Valox iQ resin met all our requirements.
It’s not just a proven PCR-based material, it also
provides exceptional electrical, mechanical and
aesthetic performance needed for this demanding
consumer application. We believe the use of
Valox iQ resin adds an important facet to the total
environmental value of our new product line.”
The Leviton Evr-Green portable unit, operating
success story
at 110 volts, enables consumers to conveniently
recharge their at home or wherever there is an
available 110V / 15amp receptacle. It is compatible
with all North American plug-in vehicles deployed
with J1772 inlets, which is the standard set earlier this
year by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
Global sustainability issues are at the core of SABIC
Innovative Plastics’ business strategy, built on the
company’s commitment to maximize the usefulness
of valuable natural resources. Customers want
solutions that help reduce their environmental
BELOW Leviton
Manufacturing’s New EvrGreen™ Electric Vehicle Cord
Set made using Valox iQ Resin
footprint by cutting energy consumption during
manufacturing; that help reduce the weight of their
products or make them thinner; and that are more
easily recycled or include recycled content. SABIC
Innovative Plastics’ product portfolio, technological
expertise and history of innovation enable the
development of materials that can help customers
tackle a wide variety of environmental issues.
Award-winning Valox iQ resin is based on
polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) that uses postconsumer PET feedstock, which is upcycled via
a proprietary process. Valox iQ PBT resin helps
to divert waste from landfills, and provides up
to a 34 to 47 percent reduction in both carbon
dioxide emissions and process energy utilization
per kilogram of PBT. Further, Valox iQ resin provides
molded-in color capability to replace painting, which
can add cost and pose an environmental hazard
from volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
Valox iQ resin also provides key performance
properties to the Leviton charger housing. To address
the demands of this high-voltage device, Valox iQ
resin underwent extensive Underwriters Laboratory
(UL) testing, and is UL 746C f1 rated in all colors.
“Proactive work performed by our team enabled
Leviton designers to take advantage of our broad
molded-in color capability to create a charger
housing featuring the company’s blue and green
brand colors,” said Dennis VanPoppelen, Electrical
Product Marketing Manager, SABIC Innovative
Plastics. “At the same time, the engineering team
saved time and expense by working with a material
that was already UL 746C f1 rated. Further, our
technical team provided expertise in tooling and
process optimization for this new application. SABIC
Innovative Plastics takes pride in going the extra mile
to help customers streamline key processes and get
their products to market faster.”
Other key properties of Valox iQ resin are high
impact and toughness to withstand accidental
contact with a vehicle and excellent resistance to
household chemicals and ultraviolet (UV) light.
This material has a strong fit in the electrical and
telecommunication markets, and SABIC Innovative
Plastics is seeing growing demand in the hybrid
and full electric automotive and commercial
transportation sectors.
Leviton is a global leader in electrical wiring
devices, data center connectivity solutions and
lighting energy management systems. A member of
the USGBC (United States Green Building Council),
Leviton was founded at the turn of the 20th century,
and has grown to become a pre-eminent leader
in the industry. Today Leviton’s product portfolio
consists of over 25,000 devices and systems used in
homes, businesses and industry.
* Trademarks of SABIC Innovative Plastics IP BV
January/February 2011 SABIC 39
corporate social responsibility
SABIC launches five-year
drug prevention initiative
SABIC has launched a major five-year, 50-million-riyal
drug prevention initiative in Saudi Arabia, in close
coordination with the Kingdom’s National Committee
for Narcotics Control (NCNC)
Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s Second
Deputy Premier and Interior Minister, and also
the President of NCNC, patronized the ceremony
to launch the initiative at the Committee’s
headquarters in Riyadh on January 16. NCNC and
SABIC signed an agreement which defines the
scope and implementation details of the initiative.
Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud,
Chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail,
thanked Prince Naif for his presence and praised
the efforts of the Ministry of Interior to curb the
40 SABIC January/February 2011
drug menace in Saudi Arabia. He said that the
SABIC initiative comes in response to the efforts
of the Second Deputy Premier to fight the drug
problem and is a result of SABIC’s cooperation with
NCNC. He stressed that the initiative aims to raise
awareness about the dangers of drug abuse and to
reinforce the role played by SABIC as a key partner
in the national anti-drug efforts. The initiative is
also an example of SABIC’s strong commitment
to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Prince Saud hoped that the initiative will
Corporate social responsibility
“SABIC recognizes the seriousness of the drug problem, which is
a global issue, adversely affecting development in the affected
countries” Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO
help reduce the incidence of drug abuse in
the Kingdom and cut drug-related crimes
within five years. He also hoped that it would
raise awareness among parents, teachers and
community workers to utilize their capabilities
and knowledge to join anti-drug programs.
Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC Vice Chairman and
CEO, said the SABIC initiative is consistent with the
national strategy to fight drug-related problems.
The leadership of the Second Deputy Premier will
provide added impetus for successful execution of
the initiative to protect young people. He noted
that the initiative is the result of several studies and
meetings with experts and specialists from within
the Kingdom and international advisory bodies.
“SABIC recognizes the seriousness of the
drug problem, which is a global issue, adversely
affecting development in the affected countries.
The initiative is built upon SABIC’s deep-rooted
commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility
and its dedication in serving the country. Our
aim is to join the efforts to put a stop to drug
abuse among school and university students, and
prevent them from adopting the evil path.”
The Ministry of Interior’s approach to fighting
drugs includes a security aspect, and preventive,
curative and rehabilitative steps. “The goal
is to eradicate the scourge and put an end
to the sufferings of the users – considering
that Saudi Arabia is one of the countries
targeted by drug pushers,” Al-Mady said.
January/February 2011 SABIC 41
corporate social responsibility
SABIC volunteers in
Korea provide winter
warmth for the needy
During the harsh Korean winter of 2010, SABIC
volunteers in the country joined hands and
pooled their resources to bring warmth to the
homeless and other financially deprived groups
of people by helping build homes, supplying coal
and making special food for senior citizens. SABIC
Innovative Plastics staff from Seoul as well as the
ChungJu Plant were involved in the effort.
Seventeen volunteers from the Seoul office
42 SABIC January/February 2011
partnered with Habitat – the international
organization that builds houses for homeless people
– for a one-day activity to build shelters in ChunAn
City. They were grouped into four construction
teams: general cleaning of the area; building the
heating units for the homes; installing styrofoam
as insulation in the walls; and cement work.
Habitat Korea has so far built six homes, of which
SABIC volunteers helped to build three. John Ha, one
Corporate social responsibility
“I am delighted
that our
employees have
their time
and efforts to
help the less
fortunate in
our society.
SABIC will
continue with
our community
activities in
Ms. Hwang, SABIC Korea
Country Manager
of SABIC volunteer leaders, said: “We are delighted
to be able to contribute to building cozy and
warm shelters for those who need them most.”
A second initiative was to supply coal briquettes
to families who could not afford to buy coal.
Joining hands with the local Red Cross organization,
SABIC volunteers bought and delivered a total of
3,000 briquettes to 15 homes in Seoul. Thanking
the SABIC team, a grateful Jung You-Keun, the
District Manager for Red Cross, commented: “The
project you have completed here has certainly
helped those in need and made a meaningful
difference, especially during this cold and freezing
weather. We greatly appreciate your support.”
Thirty employees from the ChungJu Plant, as well
as members of their families, organized a ‘Kimchi
Day’, as part of the winter preparations. Kimchi is
the traditional must-have food for Koreans, and
needs to be stocked especially for the long and cold
winter season. The team made 1,000 kg of Kimchi
(60 boxes) and delivered it to senior citizens in
ChungJu who were not able to make it themselves.
He-Ja Jung, the spouse of production manager
Yoon Jae Park, noted: “The deliveries took place
on a very cold Saturday, but the smiles of the
senior citizens when they received the Kimchi
certainly warmed our hearts. Though we were
all exhausted at the end, it was a truly rewarding
experience and well worth our efforts.”
Ms. Hwang, Korea Country Manager, said: “SABIC
believes strongly that we need to contribute to the
communities that we operate in. I am delighted
that our employees have volunteered their time and
efforts to help the less fortunate in our society. We
will continue with our community activities in Korea.”
ABOVE Volunteers distributing
coal briquettes in Seoul
above left SABIC staff and
family members prepare
traditional Korean winter
dish Kimchi in ChungJu
January/February 2011 SABIC 43
44 SABIC January/February 2011
Towards a seamless
global IT platform
SABIC is developing and implementing a global IT strategy
that will be instrumental in equipping the business to achieve
its 2020 goals. As the person responsible for delivering this
milestone strategy, Marc Houtermans, Global IT Leader,
assesses the challenges ahead and explains why he is looking
forward to the journey
“Implementing our global IT strategy has given
us a steep mountain to climb,” acknowledges
Houtermans. “But I must begin by emphasizing
two points. First: I am leading a team with a
tremendous amount of unlocked talent and we’re
embarking on this journey together. Second: we
know this is a joint effort and we are determined to
team up with the business from day one. If SABIC
is serious about becoming the preferred world
leader in chemicals, we have to move forward as an
integrated global entity. But we can only achieve
true global integration with a seamless, secure and
fully supported global IT platform.”
Putting the evolution of SABIC’s global IT strategy
into context, Houtermans says: “When I took on this
job in April 2010, the rest of our business colleagues
had already adopted to their responsibilities within
the new global organizations and had started to
operate their processes accordingly. However, they
soon found out that operating globally with different
processes supported by multiple and totally different
IT legacy systems is not really workable.
“As a consequence, the demands on IT to
help globalize SABIC’s business processes were
a significant challenge. One figure sums up the
fragmentation we were expected to manage:
1400-plus. That’s the number of different software
applications we use today to earn the money we can
invest tomorrow. Given this fragmented context,
standing still was clearly not an option.”
January/February 2011 SABIC 45
In response, Houtermans and his leadership team
spent the next eight months working intensively
to design the IT organization needed to meet this
challenge; crystallize the strategy for creating a
global, best-in-class IT platform; and secure initial
budget to implement this strategy. “The next step in
our journey is to align and mobilize our IT colleagues
with our vision before winning the hearts and minds
of our colleagues across SABIC.”
“Equipping our colleagues with world-class processes
will liberate them from their functional and
geographical silos, cut across those silos and speed
up the transfer of know-how and information that is
essential to our success.
“For example, collaboration excellence means
allowing colleagues on different sides of the world
to connect face-to-face everywhere using the latest
technologies such as OCS for one-on-one meetings
or Telepresence rooms for group meetings.
“On a very practical level, equipping people with
secure, reliable IT tools means – for example –
enabling them to schedule telephone conferences
using an Outlook system that understands time
zones; share each other’s briefing documents
without version conflicts or crashing their PCs; or
store team documents in one secure place.”
But why should his non-IT colleagues feel excited
about the implementation of a global IT strategy?
“Because it will give everyone in SABIC the processes
and collaboration tools we need to perform to the
very best of our ability and establish SABIC as the
best player in its sector.”
As Houtermans explains, SABIC’s global IT strategy
revolves around three principal objectives:
• To equip SABIC with best-in-class processes
essential to driving business performance based on
high quality management information
• To empower SABIC colleagues to collaborate
seamlessly and effectively across teams, business
units, geographical locations and even industries.
• To equip SABIC people with secure and reliable IT
tools they need to excel in their daily job.
“It’s a question of transforming SABIC into a more
process-oriented organization,” notes Houtermans.
To deliver its global IT strategy, SABIC has
restructured its IT organization into four focus areas:
Services, Transform, Center of Excellence (COE), and
Planning & Control (P&C).
With regional Services teams in the Middle East
& Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe, Services
delivers reliable IT services to the users, but also
acts as the first point of contact for the business.
Through IT-business partnerships, Services seeks to
align SABIC’s IT platform with its business needs.
Strategic results from global IT
Effective &
Process &
Data Quality
Cost Effective
Secure and
Reliable Operations
Productivity Through
46 SABIC January/February 2011
right Marc Houtermans,
SABIC Global IT Leader
Transform represents the global departments
responsible for developing and deploying the largescale breakthrough programs capable of delivering
the process and technological advances SABIC needs
to sustain its competitive edge.
The IT COE is responsible for driving
sustainable excellence in IT; while P&C is
responsible for IT performance monitoring,
financial transparency and compliance.
In collaboration with SABIC’s business teams, IT
Services will deliver services that meet business
needs; evaluate services performance; advise on
formulating IT requests; communicate plans; brief
new projects; and train users on existing and new
applications. New IT requests will be forwarded
to Transform and together they will secure
development and deployment before taking the
project back into Services.
Houtermans uses an analogy with Manufacturing
to explain the relationship between IT Services and
Transform. “Think of IT Services as a chemical site
and Transform as the engineering team with the
specialist knowledge to design, build and integrate
a new cracker on the same site. After project
completion, site management needs to be happy
with the performance and integration of the new
cracker. As in Mega projects, Transform and Services
co-operate from day one to secure a successful
program design and implementation.”
To ensure IT performs its role effectively; it has
introduced a new role: IT Business Partners.
Recruited on the strength of their technical
know-how as well as their relationship skills, these
specialists will secure the link between SABIC’s
business and its IT community.
The introduction of IT Business Partners signals
a significant shift in the IT community’s culture.
“Traditionally, IT was more or less positioned as
a pure service provider within SABIC, reacting to
service requests,” explains Houtermans. “However,
IT has much more to offer. Early alignment between
business and IT will ensure IT enables delivery of
the business strategy. That said, to act as a true
partner to our business colleagues, IT will have to
adopt a pro-active attitude and culture. Becoming
a strategic partner to the business is something
we will have to earn. It will involve winning trust by
engaging the business effectively and delivering on
our promises daily.”
The cultural shift catalyzed by SABIC’s global IT
strategy will not be confined to the IT community.
Instead, it will impact on the entire organization.
As Houtermans explains: “Implementing a global
IT platform is only an input towards our ultimate
objective. It is the tool. Our true objective is
to achieve world-class business processes that
provide high quality management information.
This will require active process ownership
by all SBUs and corporate functions.”
As Houtermans continues: “My plea to our
business colleagues is clear: please nominate
processes owners within your functions, nominate
power users within your departments, ask them
to define process and information requirements
in detail – then trust us to develop an IT solution
that meets your requirements. We have the
technological know-how and the innovative talent to
deliver the best possible IT solution for you. We will
work closely with your teams to deliver the process
solutions that serve SABIC best.”
and their
across the
business is vital
to the success
of our global IT
Learning curves
Houtermans does not underestimate the
challenges ahead – or the length of the
journey. “I expect to complete phase one of the
implementation towards the end of 2013. By then,
we could be living in a very different world, so we
may have to revise our roadmap along the way. But
the fact is that our current IT infrastructure is simply
too fragmented to deliver our 2020 targets.”
There will be steep learning curves ahead, but
Houtermans can’t wait for the ascent to start.
“It’s not often that people in any sector are given
the chance to redefine their profession. But right
now, our IT specialists have a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity to transform the way their skills
contribute to the long-term success of our business.
These are exciting times for SABIC’s IT community
– and exciting times for our business. Let the
transformation begin!”
January/February 2011 SABIC 47
Rugs and carpets are stuff of many a legend:
Solomon’s flying carpet that performed better
than a modern aircraft, the magic carpet in One
Thousand And One Nights, and plenty more in
different cultures. The erudite have even speculated
that medieval artisans could actually weave rugs
that had anti-magnetic properties which helped
them defy gravity and lift away from earth.
Historically, the classy, the cultured and the
powerful have loved the rug – so much so that
the story goes that Cleopatra presented herself to
Julius Caesar, all decked and rolled up in a carpet.
Knotted rugs appear to have been around since
early human civilizations. There are schools of
thought that attribute the origin of rug weaving
to Egyptians, Chinese and even the Mayans.
What is generally agreed is that the early human
used animal skin to protect himself, and not as
decoration. The prevalence of carpet weaving as
an art form has been traced back to 5th century
BC, and there is enough historical evidence that
rugs were a status symbol in subsequent centuries
across the various empires ranging from the China,
India and the Middle East to Russia and Europe.
For the 21st century rug lover, however, the flying
carpet is just that – legendary stuff. We are content
with exploring and maximizing the rug’s unending
possibilities to please our visual sensibilities at our
dwellings – and elsewhere, including the office, the
hospital and the hotel. Yet, for the connoisseur,
there is a diverse range of rugs to choose from:
the material from which they are made, and
Color and comfort
Rugs have enjoyed a place of pride at palaces and homes for
thousands of years. Fashion houses and interior decorators are
the latest to be charmed by the magic of the woven fabric
48 SABIC January/February 2011
Close up of early 20th century Turkmenian tekin rug
then the origin, the design and the make.
In today’s market, the much appreciated and
hand-woven Oriental rugs from China, those
from India, Afghanistan, Tibet and Turkey and the
exclusive Persian rugs compete with a wide variety
of contemporary rugs as well as ‘transitional’
rugs that are a mix of modern and traditional.
For the
there is a
diverse range
of rugs to
choose from:
the material
from which
they are made,
and then the
origin, the
design and
the make
When leading fashion house Ralph Lauren
announced its entry into rug business late last
year, no one seemed surprised. According to
industry observers, over the past decade, fashion
designers have increasingly had their eyes on the
rug market, and a number of fashion and interior
designers have entered the business. Considering
the diversity of colors and the decorative charms
of the rug, the question probably is why it took so
long for fashion business to enter the rug area.
The list of fashion designers who have laid their
hands on rugs is probably one indication that
the global market for rugs is robust. According
a 2010 Associated Press report, that growing
list in US includes Calvin Klein and Liz Claiborne
(with Nourison), Oscar de la Renta (with elson
& co.), Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Diane
Von Furstenberg, Lulu Guinness (with The
RUG Company), Tommy Hilfiger and hip dress
designer Nanette Lepore, “all translating their
passion for fashion design to floor coverings.”
As production has proliferated thanks to
machines and technology, the rug is no more a
luxury décor for the privileged few – rather it has
become an essential element of home décor.
While those special hand woven wool rugs may be
out of bound for ordinary folks, the wide variety
of machine-made rugs available in the market are
affordable for millions of people around the world.
The rug has gained wider attention as a lifestyle
décor item as interior decorators stress the
importance of color and creativity in doing
up one’s home. Floor rug, known also as area
rug, help enhance any room’s ambience,
but have more significance as a living room
style piece that integrates smoothly with the
sofa, the fireplace if there’s one, and the rest
of the furniture. Not to forget that they can
add a lot of spice to your kitchen as well.
Interior designers are of the firm opinion that rugs
contribute so much to your home ambience that
it is essential to spend quality time selecting the
right one for you. Floor rugs are good to go with
carpeted floors as well as other plain floors, whether
they are marble, hard wood or ceramic. Apart from
the aesthetic value, rugs are also known to absorb
sound waves – perhaps helping to some extent
to reduce that excess noise from the television or
sterio that might otherwise disturb the neighbor.
Rugs are extremely popular in the Middle East.
In the souqs of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab
Emirates and elsewhere, one can find all types of
rugs from different parts of the world at prices
ranging from around US $ 100 for synthetic to
several hundreds to thousands for fine-woven
handmade pieces from different parts of the world.
Attif Hellal, who owns and manages a carpet
business out of Sharjah, and has traveled all
over the world in search of super quality rugs,
has an interesting take on the status of class
rugs today. “The new generation seems mostly
interested in fast cars, fast music and fast
computers. Just as the number of people who
are in love with classical music and classical art
are relatively small, it is only a minority who really
appreciate the exquisiteness of top class rugs.”
January/February 2011 SABIC 49
“Manual rugmaking using
natural fibers
is a painstaking
process that
may take
anything from
six months
to more than
two years, and
usually the
ones take more
time to make”
Attif Hellal, manager,
Sharjah carpet business
Hellal becomes eloquent the moment you
broach the subject of rugs. He says there are
still villages where women pursue rug weaving
as a hobby, and at times for personal skill
development. “Often, these rugs produced by
individuals are the special ones because they
are somewhat unique. In some villages in the
region, especially Turkey and Iran, for example,
women with such skills are more appreciated
by mothers looking for brides for their sons.”
He says Persian rugs are considered the best,
and there are numerous types of rugs named after
the cities they are produced in, but differentiated
on the basis of design, type of fabric and weaving
technique. “Manual rug-making using natural fibers
is a painstaking process that may take anything
from six months to more than two years, and
usually the high-quality ones take more time
to make. However, machine-made rugs with
artificial materials are not comparable in terms
of quality, comfort and longevity,” says Hellal.
He says the silk rugs from India are more
expensive compared with the average Persian rugs,
but the Iranian carpets enjoy a reputation that
has been built over centuries. Asked why rugs are
relatively considered a household necessity in the
Middle East compared to the rest of the world,
Hellal notes that it is rooted in history and culture
of Arabs. “For example, Muslims typically use a
nice clean rug to pray. Wool is what everybody
can buy, but only the rich can afford silk.”
50 SABIC January/February 2011
Experts say that one starting point is to decide
whether you want to have a rug that matches with
the rest of the furniture, or to start planning from
the floor. Many seem to recommend that latter
option: the area rug is an attention-grabber and you
must choose your rug first, and then build the rest.
Once that decision is made it’s time to look
at the actual options that fit your budget. You
might actually find that you are spoilt for choice,
ranging from the synthetic polypropylene or
nylon at the bottom range to the hand-knitted
exotic ones from Persia, Turkey, India, Tibet or
Afghanistan in the higher brackets, or the handtufted ones in the mid-range. Hand-tufted ones
are supposedly 50 percent hand-made and 50
percent machine-made, but experts advise caution.
For those interested in pursuing the rug décor
seriously, there is a wealth of information and
tips on the internet. Note this piece of advise
from “Check the
underside of the rug — if you see the pattern
in reverse, it’s a hand-knotted piece; if you see
a backing, it’s hand-tufted. And on any handknotted or hand-tufted rug, look for the RugMark
label, which means it was made without child
labor. Machine-made rugs generally cost less than
a third of the price of hand-knotted versions.”
The advise does not stop with selecting and
buying. Typical rug websites offer their take on the
history of the product, the types and specialities,
size and price range and tips on buying and
maintaining, with some help on decoration as
well. While those who are passionate about history
and want to seriously help the weavers of distant
lands may opt for hand-woven rugs, those who are
not chained by those
sentiments and passion
can opt for those
wonderful, color and
BELOW An afghan woman
pattern-rich options of
weaves a NEW carpet in
Bamyan, central Afghanistan
contemporary rugs.
Saudi Arabia’s annual national cultural festival, Al-Janadriya 2011, will be
a major attraction for business visitors and tourists from April 13 to 30
51 SABIC January/February 2011
Metals that strengthen industry
Steel is a vital ingredient for businesses across the world, from manufacturers of kitchen appliances to building
contractors. As the leading steel producer in the Middle East, SABIC’s metals business has played a vital role in
the construction, development and industrialization of some of the world’s fastest growing economies.
Shaping our futures

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