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GCC to offer 60m tonnes of petrochemicals

The GCC is expected to contribute more than 60 million metric tonnes of petrochemicals to the world next year, according to the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA).

The not-for-profit regional association, formed in March, disclosed these statistics ahead of its first annual conference, which will take place in Dubai on December 16 and 17.

The event is being held under the patronage of Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

Sabic vice-chairman and CEO Mohamed Al Mady, who has been elected as the first chairman of GPCA, said: “The GCC is of great strategic importance to the global petrochemicals and chemicals industry.

“We are estimating that these sectors will grow another 13 per cent in the region by 2010.”

Meanwhile, GCC exports alone are expected to reach 50 million tonnes by 2008.

Industry experts are increasingly looking at the region as the centre of gravity for the global industry.

Part of the reason for GCC’s prominence can be attributed to easy access to feedstock, access to the latest technology, and strategic location at the intersection of the Americas, Asia and the rest of the world.

Mohamed Al Mady added: “There is significant liquidity in this market place for project finance which gives it an added competitive edge. Furthermore, construction and labour costs are relatively low and generous tax incentives for foreign partners”.

The founding members of GPCA – Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), EQUATE Petrochemical Co (Equate), Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co. (GPIC), Petrochemical Industries Co. (PIC), Qatar Petrochemical Co Ltd (QAPCO), Qatar Vinyl Co Ltd (QVC), National Industrialisation Company (TASNEE), Abu Dhabi Polymers (Borouge) – aim to put their resources together to enhance the role of the region in international debate and policy making vis-a-vis petrochemicals and chemicals, to facilitate regional cooperation, and to ensure that growth is both sustainable and socially responsible.

Hamad Al Terkait, president and CEO of Equate and vice-chairman of GPCA, said:

“According to recent economic reports, the Middle East has become the largest recipient of project finance in the world.

“Out of the global total of $98.5 billion in project finance debt raised in the first half of this year, $33 billion was raised for Middle Eastern projects.

“A considerable portion of this finance was captured by investment in the petrochemicals sector which makes the role of GPCA and its first annual conference all the more pertinent.”

Commenting about the establishment of GPCA, secretary-general Abdullah bin Zaid Al Hagbani said “I think an association of this kind was long overdue in the region.

“There was a need to consolidate regional data, to take stock of impending challenges, and to deal collectively with health, environment and safety issues.

“GPCA will fill this gap. I am looking forward to sharing my own experiences of this industry and learning from the other esteemed delegates at this forum.”

GPCA, which has its headquarters in Dubai, has set up three sub committees to deal with communication and promotion; human resources development and technical issues.

Other committees will be formed in due course.

More than 400 delegates are expected to attend GPCA’s forthcoming conference in Dubai.

The forum will focus on topics such as gas supply and demand in the GCC; supply and demand for feedstocks in the GCC from a new project perspective; the role of NOCs in the further development of the petrochemical sector in the region; financing Sabic growth and petrochemical project finance in the GCC; talent management for the petrochemical industry; addressing global challenges; refining petrochemicals integration; realizing substantial cost savings through the utilisation of process optimisation illustrated with industry case studies from the Middle East; the contribution of competency to securing health and safety in the petrochemical industry; and evaluating health and environmental challenges to the industry.

Keynote speakers include Michael J Dolan, president - Exxon Mobil Chemical Company, USA; Fran Keeth, executive vice-president chemicals – Shell, UK; John Taylor, CEO - Borealis, Austria; Carlos A Cabrera, president & CEO - UOP, US; Otto Fritzer CEO - Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group B.V, The Netherlands; Khaled Al Falih, senior vice-president - Saudi Aramco, KSA; Terry Newendorp, chairman & CEO - Taylor DeJongh, US; and Teresa Budworth, CEO – The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health, UK.

The GPCA was founded in March 2006 by eight founding members and already has a burgeoning list of companies wishing to become members or affiliates.

Its mission is to offer its members networking opportunities through various platforms to meet and share knowledge; exchange opinions and experiences, promote free and fair trade and advocate the development, growth and prosperity of the petrochemicals and chemicals industry and related businesses in the Gulf. TradeArabia News Service


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