Petrochemical production in the GCC rose by 4.5 percent last year, the second highest growth region in the world, according to the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association's, GPCA, Annual Report for 2014.
Regional growth in chemical production is largely attributed to a surge in plastic production, which grew by 6 percent in 2014, nearly twice the worldwide average. Meanwhile, global production of chemicals rose by 2.8 percent last year, a similar figure to 2013.
"This development is testament to that the ambitious growth plans of the Arabian Gulf's chemicals industry is based on solid fundamentals," said Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary-General, GPCA. "The region has grown nearly 60 percent over the global average, an achievement that is made all the more significant when you consider that this progress was made despite continuing economic uncertainty in Europe and recent slowdown in China."
The GCC's chemical production was bolstered by significant expansion in polymer facilities in the United Arab Emirates whereby Borouge added 2.5 million tons of polyolefin capacity to its facilities, resulting in the ADNOC-Borealis joint venture's total capacity to rise to 4.5 million tons.
"While production growth is certainly a positive development, GCC chemical producers must not rest on their laurels. The petrochemicals sector is tied into global economic trends and demographic demand, meaning that we in the Arabian Gulf could be affected by developments from around the world," advised Dr. Al-Sadoun. "However, what we are seeing in the GCC is that local producers are not only growing but evolving. Borouge, for example, inaugurated its Innovation Centre last year, meaning that the company hopes to move away from commodity plastics and into specialty products."
Now in its 9th edition, the Annual Report provides an overview of the major developments of the GCC petrochemicals industry from across the region. Published by the GPCA, the Annual Report represents a key facet of the thought leadership activities of the association, which has grown from 60 members in 2006 to 240 members today.
"Along with advocacy and networking, the GPCA has grown into a body that provides consistent, reliable and transparent information about the region's petrochemicals industry," concluded Dr. Al- Sadoun. "With this report, we hope to provide a snapshot of developments within the last year, in a way that makes sense to both seasoned insiders, as well as casual readers."
Emirates News Agency (WAM)