Press releases

Conferences are held under the patronage of His Excellency Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Minister of Oil, Bahrain, who will address the audience with an inaugural speech

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 4 March 2019 – The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) will address the Plastics Circular Economy and the impact of digital technologies on chemical innovation at the 10th edition of PlastiCon and the 6th edition of GPCA Research and Innovation (R&I) Summit at ART Rotana, Amwaj Islands, Bahrain on 11-12 March and 13-14 March respectively.

Both conferences are held under the patronage of His Excellency Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Minister of Oil, Bahrain, who will address the audience with an inaugural speech. The week-long activities will kick off with PlastiCon which will address the theme of ‘Innovative Plastic Designs: Sustainability for Future Generations.’ In light of new research, experts estimate that integrating recycled plastics into the chemical value chain could create a profit pool of USD 55 billion a year worldwide by 2030. To address this trend, PlastiCon will discuss the circular economy in plastics in the GCC and globally and provide an update on the recycling landscape in the region.

The opening address on day one will be presented by Ahmed Omar Abdulla, CEO, Borouge, and Chairman, GPCA Plastics Committee, while the keynote presentation will be delivered by Dr. Maurits van Tol, SVP, Innovation and Technology, Borealis. Dr. Waleed Ahmad Al-Shalfan, GM, Technology Petrochemicals SBU, SABIC, will deliver the opening address on day two.

Representatives from two of the world’s major consumer packaged goods manufacturers, Dr. Annie Weisbrod, Principal Scientist, Global Product Stewardship – Environmental Sustainability, Procter & Gamble, and Wael Ismail, Senior Director, Public Policy, Government and Corporate Affairs – MENA, PepsiCo, will be sharing their experiences in the Plastics Circular Economy. Other distinguished speakers include Lorraine Francourt, EHS Director, Chemicals Management and Circular Economy, Dow Chemicals, and Joost Verploeg, MD, Africa, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent, LyondellBasell.

The changing nature of research and innovation in the digital age will be the focus of the 6th GPCA R&I Summit, which will begin with an opening address by Dr. Moayyed Al-Qurtas, Chairman, GPCA Research and Innovation Committee, and continue with a keynote address by Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi, SVP Downstream, Saudi Aramco. As part of the panel session, Al-Judaimi will be joined by Dan McCarthy, EVP, McDermott – Lummus Technology, to discuss the oil-to-chemicals (COTC) breakthrough technology. Senior industry leaders from technology giants IBM and Siemens will address digitalization of R&I in the petrochemical industry and Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovations for chemicals. The opening remarks on day two will be delivered by Dr. Thorsten Loehl, VP, Innovation, Borouge.

Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA, commented, “The crude oil-to-chemicals (COTC) technology has the potential to reshape the global petrochemical industry and fundamentally change the dynamics of global competition in the years to come. At the same time, by 2030 digitalization is expected to increase annual margin potential in the global chemical industry by more than USD 1.8 trillion. These and other cutting-edge developments will be discussed during the R&I Summit, while PlastiCon will assess the role of sustainability in the global plastics industry, as well as the future of plastics packaging and design.”

He added, “We are proud to be hosting both conferences under the patronage of H.E. Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Minister of Oil, Bahrain, and I look forward to welcoming you to these important industry gatherings in Bahrain this March.”

On 12 March, GPCA will host an exclusive student seminar as part of its Leaders of Tomorrow program in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, dedicated to building local human capital in the GCC region. The 6th GPCA R&I Summit will see the launch of the GPCA Innovation Competition, aimed at promoting innovation among university students in the Arabian Gulf. Winners of the competition will be announced during the gala dinner on 13 March at ART Rotana, Amwaj Islands, Bahrain.

For more information on PlastiCon and the R&I Summit please visit and