Glass fibre expansion underlines Saudi importance

Swicorp Joussour Company, a Saudi Joint Stock Company capitalised at SAR 2.67 billion ($712 million) managed by Swicorp, said that its portfolio company Eastern Industrial Company (EICO) has raised financing facilities amounting to SAR 592 million ($ 158 million) to partially fund EICO's project to set up a corrosion resistant glass fibre production plant in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia.

EICO is 51 per cent owned by Joussour.

"The plant will be the largest-of-its-kind in the Middle East region and will have an annual production capacity of 60,000 tons with a plan to double the capacity to 120,000 tons in the near future. EICO has taken delivery of most of the plant’s equipment and machinery and has completed all civil works at the project’s site," said Faysal Hamza, Managing Director at Swicorp Private Equity and EICO’s Managing Director.

Hamza added that "EICO has secured all the necessary permits and licences including an advantageous land location in the First Industrial Zone in Jubail, approval from the Saudi Electricity Company, natural gas allocation from Saudi Aramco, in addition to oxygen from Sabic's National Industrial Gases Company to enhance the capacity of its furnaces".

"The financing package comprises a SAR 200 million ($53 million) medium term facility from the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), as well as SAR 242 million ($65 million) medium term Islamic financing facility and a SAR 150 million ($40 million) Islamic bridge facility from Bank Al Jazira to bridge the SIDF financing facility. The financing structure provides EICO with a flexible and cost effective funding base" added Mohamed Wahby, Director at Swicorp Private Equity and Board Member of EICO.

“This is an exciting move for Saudi Arabia” says Derek Burston, Managing Director of Gulf Glass 2011 (7-9 March, Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre, www.glassinthegulf.com) “and once again focuses attention on the Kingdom as a prime mover in all aspects of the Middle Eastern glass industry” he adds.

Make sure you don’t miss out on the largest glass exhibition to take place across the Middle East region, by putting Gulf Glass 2011 as a “must attend” event in your diary. With increased participation daily, the spread of international exhibitors will ensure that.

For more information, contact Dominic Morris (dmorris@asianglass.com) or Derek Burston (dburston@gattacaltd.com)

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