The Middle East is set to become the epicenter of global petrochemicals manufacturing, producing essential materials for packaging, healthcare, pipes, electronics goods, personal care, construction, and many other industrial or consumer requirements, according to a forecast by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA).
In a press statement, the GPCA, which has its headquarters in Dubai, said that these products were the raw materials for industry around the globe, and much of the new output will be supplied to the booming markets of China and India.
GPCA, a non-profit organisation and a regional platform for the petrochemicals and chemicals industry in the Gulf, was created in 2006, with founding members including Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), EQUATE Petrochemical Co., Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co. (GPIC), Petrochemical Industries Co. (PIC), Qatar Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (QAPCO), Qatar Vinyl Co. Ltd. (QVC), National Industrialization Company (TASNEE), and Abu Dhabi Polymers Co. Ltd (Borouge).
Ethylene is the building block of the petrochemicals industry and is supplied from gas in the Middle East at great cost advantage. Production capacity for ethylene in the Middle East will more than double in the next five years, rising from over 13 million metric tons in 2007 to over 29 million metric tons in 2012. This represents nearly half of global capacity growth.
'The world's largest program ever for construction of new ethylene plants is taking place in the Middle East,' says Mohamed H. Al-Mady, Chairman of GPCA and CEO of SABIC.
Oil prices at $100 barrel place considerable burden on the petrochemical industry and the pace of economic activity in important markets such as the US and China may slow next year. Legislative and environmental pressures continue.
Against this background, leaders of several multinational and billion dollar companies will gather during the Second Annual GPCA Forum on 11-13 December in Dubai to discuss the global economic outlook at a period of uncertainty. The GPCA is bringing to the event a number of star speakers.
The list includes Mukesh Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director, Reliance Industries; Ray Wilcox, President & CEO, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company; Peter Huntsman, CEO, Huntsman Corporation; Stephanie A. Burns, Chairman, President & CEO, Dow Corning Corporation; Andrew Liveris, CEO, The Dow Chemical Company; Abdulrahman A. Al-Zamil, Director, Al-Zamil Group; Steve Cornell, Senior Vice President, Middle East & Asia, Total Petrochemicals; Volker Trautz, President & CEO, Basell Polyolefins; Mohamed H. Al-Mady, Vice Chairman & CEO, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and Hamad Al-Terkait, President & CEO, Equate Petrochemical Company (EQUATE) Kuwait.