AL-JUBAIL, Saudi Arabia, July 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Saudi Organometallic Chemicals Company (SOCC), a joint venture equally owned by Albemarle Netherlands B.V., a subsidiary of Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) and Saudi Specialty Chemical Company, an affiliate of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) announced today the initial start-up of its aluminum alkyls facility located in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia. At capacity, it will manufacture 6,000 metric tons per year of tri-ethyl aluminum (TEA), a Ziegler Natta co-catalyst used in the plastics industry. An ultra-low hydride grade of TEA (TEA-ULH) will also be produced at the SOCC plant. This new facility is designed to meet the growing needs for TEA and ULH-TEA in the region, using raw materials supplied from member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111129/MM14279LOGO) "This state-of-the-art facility clearly demonstrates SOCC's commitment to providing a dependable supply of these essential products to the Middle East," stated Al Saurage, executive general manager of SOCC. "This is a great achievement for our team and truly demonstrates the power of collaboration." "Together with SABIC, we are bringing the production of our value-added products closer to the end-user," said Luke Kissam, CEO of Albemarle Corporation. "Successful expansion into high-growth regions such as Al-Jubail enables closer collaboration with our customers and supports our strategy for smart, sustainable growth." Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC vice chairman and CEO, commented, "The SOCC start-up is yet another milestone in SABIC's growth strategy in a highly competitive plastics market. We once again demonstrate our commitment to stimulate national economic growth, and build long-term relationships with our global customers." The first batch of TEA, which was successfully completed in mid April, met or exceeded all commercial specifications. Full commercial production is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2013 once customer qualifications are completed.