MIDDLE EAST: ‘ME to dominate global petrochemical industry by 2020'

Organised by the Gulf Petrochemical and Chemical Association (GPCA), the fifth Supply Chain Conference was opened by Saleh Al-Shabnan, vice-chairman of GPCA Supply Chain Committee and vice-president of Global Supply Chain Centre of Excellence, Sabic.

Al Shabnan said that sustainability will be one key area to focus on going forward as the industry continues to develop. "Supply chain management in the Gulf is evolving and now is the time to look at important opportunities and close any gaps. One [such issue] is the sustainability of the supply chain in the Gulf. The perception is that the region is blessed with energy resources and therefore is not cautious about this. The supply chain industry here is as cautious as other regions, if not more so," Al Shabnan said.

To address the issue, Sabic is rolling out five initiatives that will improve fuel efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions and energy consumption. These five initiatives are: reduce transportation time between plants and consumers; replace 200,000 trucks with 2,700 trains to run on Saudi Arabia's railway network with the support of SAR; implementing a fuel savings programme which will also reduce CO2; use larger and more sophisticated ships to transport products more efficiently to distant markets, such as the US and Asia; and to use pipelines more for the transport of liquid products.

By implementing these initiatives, Sabic aims to reduce its energy consumption by 0.7 MMBOE (million barrels of oil equivalent) by 2016. Reducing energy consumption will be very crucial as the industry continues to develop at a very rapid rate.

Source: Daily "Times of Oman", Muscat; 20 May 2013

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)