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History of GCC Petrochemical Industry Captured in Molecules, Mind and Matter

GPCA presents new book covering how the GCC has become a global petrochemical hub

Dubai, United Arab Emirates; November, 2015: A comprehensive overview of the petrochemicals industry in the Arabian Gulf debuted last week. Spanning nearly half a century, six countries and several companies, the book, titled Molecules, Mind and Matter, is authored by Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA). The book has been written in partnership with the US-based Chemical Heritage Foundation and is published by Medina Publishing.

“Since the first joint-venture plants in the late 1960s, the industry has expanded from humble beginnings to a multi-billion dollar industry that exports its world-class products to every corner of the globe,” said Dr. Al-Sadoun. “This unique success story has unfolded due to the contributions of many people, but has yet to be recorded, until today.”

As an industry, the GCC’s petrochemical sector was born out of a need to use the associated gas in the Arabian Gulf’s oilfields, which used to be burned as a by-product before the advent of the first chemical facilities. Today, the industry manufactures 136.2 million tons of products, earning US$87.4 billion in revenues per year.

Spread out over ten chapters, the book includes first person accounts from current and former executives, as well as archival images from the GCC’s oldest and most respected companies.

“The book is truly a reflection of how the industry has evolved in the last 50 years,” said Dr. Al-Sadoun. “These stories form the basis of the industry, and will surely influence how the sector writes its next chapters in the coming decades. We are very grateful to all these individuals who have made themselves available to collect their stories from the early days and to our partners in this venture, the Chemical Heritage Foundation and Medina Publishing.”

“The progress and promise of science and industry in the GCC is a story of courage, inventiveness, and vision. It is a pleasure to commend it as an antidote to a world too often beset by rancour, gloom and human folly,” said Arnold Thackray, Chancellor, Chemical Heritage Foundation.

The book is available on the Medina Publishing website and It will also be available in the major bookstores across the Arabian Gulf region.

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