The petrochemical sector in the GCC continues to strengthen its position globally with increased production and regional players are also optimistic for 2012 despite the gloomy economic forecast worldwide.
This was revealed by the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association in its 2011 annual report. Regional petrochemicals production capacity grew 13.5% last year to nearly 116 million tons up from 102 million tons in 2010 on the back of further expansion of manufacturing facilities.
Saudi Arabia alone accounted for more than half of the USD 100 billion in sales generated by the GCC petrochemicals sector with Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation posting total revenues in 2011 of USD 50.64 billion and a net profit of USD 7.8 billion.
In Abu Dhabi, Borouge, JV between Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Borealis awarded a number of large contracts in 2011 to expand its Borouge 3 petrochemicals complex including USD 111 million building infrastructure contract to Alpine Deutschland AG and USD 169 million deal to Hyundai to build a cross linked polyethylene unit.
When fully operational in mid 2014, the Ruwais located Borouge 3 site will more than double the JV's existing output increasing Borouge's total capacity to 4.5 million tons and create the largest integrated single site polyolefins complex in the world.
Dr Abdulwahab Al Sadoun secretary general of the GPCA said that "Continued investment and a cluster of significant new agreements demonstrate the leading role the GCC petrochemicals sector is now playing worldwide.”
The report also describes 2011 as a year of consolidation after the demand slump caused by the 2008 economic downturn with the industry recording sales and revenue growth and notable progress in the development of new projects.
Mr Al Sadoun said that "We are optimistic about 2012, despite the gloomy economic forecast in European and overseas markets, due to the continued focus on technology, innovation and long term partnerships."
He said that the entry of industry leaders such as Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and Sabic into China through the signing of large scale petrochemicals joint ventures is another positive trend for the GCC petrochemical sector.