Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical industry is expected to attract US$150 billion in total cumulative investments by 2016, said Prince Faisal bin Turki, an adviser to the Kingdom’s petroleum and minerals ministry, as per gtforum.com. With this, the total production of petrochemicals, chemicals and polymers will see a 250% growth from 2006 levels. Saudi Arabia’s annual production of propylene will rise by 300% from levels seen in 2006. Total feedstock, fuel and energy requirements for Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical sector are estimated to rise to 1.6 mln bpd boe by 2016. The ministry had been working with the industry with the aim of expanding the Kingdom’s portfolio and diversifying across the value chain. The key reason behind the growth of the Saudi Arabian petrochemical industry is abundant supply of ethane feedstock well below international prices, at around US$0.75/MMBtu.
However, the flip side is that most of these petrochemicals and specifically over 85% of the polymers made by the Saudi industry, are exported and then shipped back to the region and other world consumers in the form of finished goods, with the associated jobs being created elsewhere. This is a substantial lost opportunity for Saudi Arabia to meet the growing demands of markets in the region, while creating jobs within the conversion industries in Saudi," as poer Gulf News.