Kuwait to buy 25 pct stake in South Korea-Saudi venture

DUBAI, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Kuwait’s Petrochemicals Industries Co (PIC) has agreed to buy a 25 percent equity stake in a venture owned by South Korea’s SK Gas Co Ltd and Saudi Advanced Petrochemical Co, shareholders of the three firms said.

PIC, a subsidiary of state oil giant Kuwait Petroleum Corp, will invest in SK Advanced, which is building a 600,000 tonnes per year propane dehydrogenation (PDH) project in South Korea.

SK Gas is a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distributor.

In a statement on Tuesday, SK Gas said PIC paid $100 million for the stake.

SK Advanced will be operated as a three-party venture with SK Gas retaining a 45-percent stake, Saudi Advanced’s AGIC holding 30 percent and PIC owning 25 percent.

Saudi Advanced had previously invested $135 million for a 35 percent stake. It said in a statement on the Saudi stock exchange that its subsidiary AGIC had agreed to sell a 5 percent stake, reducing its holding to 30 percent.

The impact of the sale will generate 16 million riyals ($4.3 million) for Saudi Advanced which will be reflected in its first quarter results.

Saudi Advanced said trial operations of the South Korean project would start in the first quarter of this year. SK’s statement said commercial operations were expected to start from March this year. (Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh, Meeyoung Cho and Reem Shamseddine; Editing by Mark Potter)