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GCC Chemicals Production Rises by 4.5%, says GPCA Annual Report

April 6, 2015: Petrochemicals production in the GCC rose by 4.5% in 2014, the second highest growth region in the world, according to the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association’s (GPCA) Annual Report 2014.

Regional growth in chemicals production is largely attributed to a surge in plastic production, which grew by 6% in 2014, nearly twice the worldwide average. Meanwhile, global production of chemicals rose by 2.8% last year, a similar figure from 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% 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.”

Saudi Arabia continues to be the GCC’s most dynamic petrochemicals market, with new fertilizer and plastic projects coming on- steam, as well as state- of- the- art research centers being launched by companies like Sabic, PetroRabigh, Sadara, Sipchem and Tasnee.

“While production growth is certainly a positive development, GCC chemicals 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 expanding capacities but also capturing value added opportunities,—Safco’s new fertilizer plant, for example, is capable of capturing 850,000 million tons of carbon dioxide per year enabling this Sabic affiliate to be the operator of one of the largest carbon capture and utilization facilities in the world.

“Moving forward, the picture looks positive,” continued Dr. Al- Sadoun. “As Sadara formally comes on-stream this year, 14 of the 26 units operated by the company will manufacture products that have never been produced in the Arabian Gulf, signalling that an era of diversification is imminent.”

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.”

For more information on the Annual Report, please visit http://www.gpca.org.ae/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/GPCA_Annual_Report_2014.pdf

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