National Titanium Dioxide Co. (CRISTAL)

The main product produced by the National Titanium Dioxide Co. is fairly obvious from the official name, with most people simply referring to it as Cristal. More specifically, the company’s focus is on manufacturing titanium products that are ultrafine. Along with that, their production of chemicals made for titanium merchants is the largest such effort in the world. In the latter segment, this includes the production of oxysulfate, oxychloride and tetrachloride.

Cristal is currently situated in the second spot among all producers of titanium dioxide, with those customers using it to enhance things like the ink used, the seals needed for containers or simply the paint required for a job. Some of the products that are eventually made can be as basic as bags used in stores to parts for aerospace companies that produce hi-tech equipment.

Reaching that second spot in the industry was the byproduct of Cristal purchasing Millenium Inorganic Chemicals (MIC) in May 2007 for $1.3 billion. Based in Hunt Valley, Maryland, MIC’s workforce welcomed two more companies just one year later. That was when Cristal purchased Australian mining company Bemax and International Titanium Powder, which helped the newly-merged firm reach 4,000 employees for its workforce.

Those employees are located on five different continents, though the main base of operations remains in Jeddah. Such growth has taken place over the course of the last three decades, with Cristal officially beginning operations in 1988. The Gulf Investment Corporation helped get things off the ground and still maintains a 20 percent interest in the company.

At the outset, Cristal was the lone regional producer of titanium dioxide, yet the clearest indication of the company’s growth can be seen in the expansion of its plant in Yanbu. Its plant capacity has since quadrupled from its original 1991 opening.

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