STX Heavy Industries Co, (STXH) a unit of South Korean conglomerate STX Group, has signed a USD 1.1 billion preliminary deal with Al Watania Group to build two chemical plants in western Saudi Arabia.

STXH is to construct a polysilicon plant with an annual production capacity of 6000tns and a linear alkyl benzene (LAB) plant with an annual production capacity of 100,000 tonnes by 2014. The plant will be built in the Yanbu industrial complex, 300km N of Jeddah.

Polysilicon is an essential raw material for solar cells, while LAB is used for making detergents.