Dow Chemical + Saudi Aramco = Sadara

Dow Chemical Company was founded in 1897 by a Canadian born chemist named Herbert Henry Dow. He invented a new method of extracting bromine (used in making bleach) found underground in the Midland, Michigan area and Dow Chemical was started. With fierce competition in the early years Dow rapidly diversified and was soon a major producer of a wide range of products.  Today it is a multinational chemical company still headquartered in Midland. “Dow’s diversified industry-leading products of specialty chemicals, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in over 160 countries“. The companies 5000 products are manufactured in 188 sites around the world, it employees over 54,000 people worldwide. Dow has been called the “chemical companies’ chemical company“, most of its sales are to other industries rather than end-users.

In 2009 Dow purchased Rohm & Haas Company of Philadelphia where ME had worked for 30 years. Starting in 2010 ME’s new job and office was moved to Saginaw, MI, 25 miles south of Midland. ME would travel to Saginaw weekly.

In 2010 Dow became a worldwide sponsor of the International Olympic Games.

Saudi Aramco is the Saudi Arabian national oil and gas company whose headquarters are in Dhahran in the Eastern Province. Formed in 1938 the year oil production began in KSA, the company is now the largest oil company in the world and has the largest oil reserves in the world. In the early days the company was owned by several international oil companies, by the 1980’s the company was nationalized and the Saudi government took over full control of the management and operations. The company is now monitored by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources. Like Dow, Saudi Aramco has expanded worldwide, it is involved in exploration, production, refining  and chemicals, shipping, distribution, research and development and marketing activities. It has an estimated value of $10 trillion making it the world’s most valuable company.

Saudia Aramco provides many services to its employees, the community, government agencies and private companies. It operates and maintains several large high tech hospitals, many fire stations, a western-style educational system for its employees and families and it provides its employees with many types of recreational facilities. It also has an Elite Security force that ensures the safety of the companies industrial and residential sites as well as families of senior management. It also owns and operates a fleet of 79 airplanes and has 5 aviation faculties in Saudi Arabia as well as one located in the US. It operates a university that includes a Professional Development Program, and advanced Masters and PhD degrees.

In October of 2011 Dow Chemical Company and Saudi Aramco established a joint venture called Sadara Chemical Company. Sadara means “in the lead” or “forefront” in Arabic and its goal is to be the leader in the global petrochemical industry.  The new facility is being built in Jabail industrial city, 70 miles north of Al Khobar. It is an unprecedented undertaking, it is the largest chemical complex ever built in the world in a single phase with 26 world scale manufacturing plants being built at the same time. 14 of the 26 plants being built will produce new products never produced  before in Saudi Arabia. Bringing in new advanced technologies to create new products will contribute to the local economic growth by creating new jobs, reducing imports and enhancing the value of Saudi products.

Over 10 engineering and construction companies are currently employing over  40,000 workers on the project. Sadara is on track to deliver it first products in early 2015 with the complex in full operation in 2016. ME was asked to join the Sadara ERP implementation team in October of 2013 to help coordinate their processes.

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