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'GCC petrochemicals sector has to leverage opportunities'
29
Nov '14
Speakers at the 9th Annual Forum of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) stressed on the fact that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) petrochemicals sector has to leverage opportunities in order to overcome challenges from global competition.

Petrochemicals capacity of the GCC reached 140.5 million tons in 2013, an 8.7 per cent increase from 2012, while revenues hit US$89.4 billion the same year, a 7.3 per cent growth from the previous year.

According to Qatar’s minister of Energy & Industry, Dr Al- Sada three developments would influence the region’s petrochemicals industry. “

“As oil prices reach their lowest levels in four years, downstream economists have to re-evaluate their strategies. Secondly, the impact of US shale gas on the competitiveness of our region’s industry is putting downward pressure on gas prices in the region.

“Thirdly emergence of coal based polyethylene in China shows that the country is looking at alternative feedstock to develop their downstream sector,” he said.

Khalid Al- Falih, CEO, Saudi Aramco said, “North American chemicals will double in the next decade, giving them capabilities to be in markets that we thought were traditionally ours.”

“European markets are closing down their inefficient plants. And China is changing as well, as it is growing relatively slower, however Chinese companies are looking at coal to chemical opportunities,” he added.

Al- Falih advised on a coherent strategy to overcome competition from different markets including mixed feedstock crackers, upgrading existing facilities, regional integration and multiplying the number of industry participants.

“Ultimately, the GCC states are well on their way towards a period of prosperity and progress and we are in the golden decade for the GCC petrochemicals industry and it’s a once in a generation opportunity,” Al- Falih concluded by saying.

“One of the few certainties in this world is energy, and in this world of fossil fuels, there is no guarantee that this will be used to its full advantage,” said Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical Company.

“Yes, the Middle East will still export hydrocarbons, but more and more people in the region are beginning to understand the potential of hydrocarbons to create jobs and to add value to the economies,” he added.

Liveris said the plans behind Sadara, the Saudi Aramco & Dow Chemical joint venture, illustrate an ideal scenario for the petrochemicals industry and the multibillion dollar integrated facility is notable for being the largest petrochemicals plant built in a single phase, and is expected to be a hub for manufacturing, research and job opportunities. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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