The petrochemical capacity of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is estimated to grow by almost 46 percent over the next three years, from existing 77.3 million tons per annum (MTPA) to 113 MTPA per annum by 2015, the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA) stated.
The Saudi Arabian Section of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (SAS-AIChE) Chairman Abdulmohsen Al Majnouni revealed this at The World Refining Association conference, while discussing the ways to make the most of the opportunities available in the sector.
Due to the impact of highly volatile cycles over the past few years, the petrochemical industry in the GCC region has been exposed to financial crisis. However, recent developments in the sector would not allow such cyclic volatility to occur again, he said.
Launch of speciality or performance chemicals has distinguished refining from petrochemical industries, Mr. Al Majnouni said. As their sustainability increases, the more creative producers are now making more advanced products. As the efficiency of the petrochemical industry rises, it would reduce its vulnerability to financial crisis, he added.
As reported by GPCA, during last year GCC’s petrochemicals production capacity increased by 13.5 percent and Saudi Arabia alone contributed over half of the sales revenue of US$ 100 billion generated by the region’s petrochemical sector during the period.
With around US$ 12 billion worth of projects under execution and another US$ 41 billion project lined up for future, Saudi Arabia tops the list of GCC countries in petrochemical development.
Besides, other US$ 19 billion worth of petrochemical projects under execution in the GCC are also likely to extend short-term as well as long-term production capacities.
Earlier, firms operating in the GCC faced less competition in the petrochemical area and were even able to avail subsidised feedstock, the SAS-AIChE Chairman said.
Now, there is shortage of availability of feedstock and the entry of several international firms has raised competition, following which, petrochemical firms in the GCC region have become smarter and have increased their energy efficiency, sustainability and cost effectiveness, Mr. Al Majnouni said.
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