Sadara Chemical Co, a $20 billion joint venture between Saudi Aramco and U.S. firm Dow Chemical, has started production at its propylene glycol plant, moving closer to full operation of the JV's petrochemicals complex.
Propylene glycol is used in food and flavourings, cosmetics and fragrances as well as paints and coatings.
The Sadara complex, comprising 26 integrated facilities in Jubail, eastern Saudi Arabia, is the world's largest petrochemical facility to be built in a single phase.
"We are nearing the finish line and the teams are all working tirelessly to bring up the few remaining facilities," a spokesman for Sadara said. He declined to give a specific date for the start of full operations.
Previous statements said all facilities were scheduled to be commissioned by the end of this year.
Sadara started its mixed-feed cracker last year. It is the first company in any member state of the six-country Gulf Cooperation Council to crack naphtha and ethane.
It has the capacity to produce more than 3 million tonnes of products per year.