Saudi titanium sponge plant planned

Jan 29, 2014 | 11:00 AM | Frank Haflich

Tags  titanium sponge, overcapacity, Roskill, National Industrialization, Tasnee, National Titanium Dioxide, Cristal, Toho Titanium Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — A planned $420-million joint-venture sponge plant in Saudi Arabia could add to an existing global surplus in the industrial titanium market while also giving a possible clue to the choice of future production sites by Japanese producers, the major source of imported sponge for U.S. mill products.

Toho Titanium Co. Ltd. and two Saudi companies—National Industrialization Co. (Tasnee) and National Titanium Dioxide Co. Ltd. (Cristal)—have signed an agreement to build a sponge plant in Yanbu Industrial City.

The plant, which outsiders view as the first in the Middle East, will have a capacity of 15,600 tonnes (about 34.4 million pounds) per year, Toho said in a statement. Construction is expected to start in January 2015 and is scheduled to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2016.....

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