photo : arabianoliandgas.com
The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) has published a recent report outlining recent investment in the region.
By 2015, the Gulf region will be supplying a fifth of the world's petchems output or 155 million tonnes per annum.
Saudi Arabia remains the region's biggest producer, with some 50% of the above output.
Interestingly much of the new investment results from a political, rather than economic agenda, with governments keen to maximise employment. The logical next step from this is to also move into plastics processing. We can expect to see more polymer parks along the lines of the one being devloped by ADBIC in Abu Dhabi. However the challenge for these parks is attracting investment from industry players. The incentives are good but the parks are relatively remote from the consumer markets.
The end result is uncertain but the region has certainly become a powerful player in petchems, given feedstock availability and the political will to develop employment via petchems manufacturing. With global demand unlikely to absord all of the new capacity, there will have to be rationalisation projects elsewhere.