MIDDLE EAST: GCC petrochemical sector posts 5.5% growth in 2012

Now in its sixth edition, the yearly GPCA report provides a comprehensive overview of the major developments of the GCC petrochemicals industry in each of the six Gulf countries.

The report revealed that the GCC's petrochemicals production capacity rose to 127.8 million tonnes in 2012, up from 121.1 million tonnes in 2011. In 2012, global petrochemical production grew 2.6 %, lower than the 3.8 % growth rate in 2011. With 6.1 million tonnes, petrochemicals production in the UAE currently accounts for 4.8 % of the total regional capacity.

However, with a capacity of 86.4 million tonnes, Saudi Arabia accounts for over half the GCC's total petrochemicals capacity. An estimated 6 million tonnes of capacity came on stream in 2012, cementing the kingdom's position as the region's leading petrochemicals producer.

"As a host of major projects come online, along with a collection of significant new agreements, the GCC petrochemicals industry has demonstrated its potential as a market leader over the last year,” said Dr Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, secretary-general of the GPCA. "The GPCA is pleased to witness this market growth and recognise the contribution of every industry player across the region. We are optimistic about the future. Industry growth will transform the petrochemicals sector, into one that is focused on technology, sustainability and enduring partnerships.”

In 2012, the UAE continued its strategic expansion by awarding contracts for several key downstream projects in Abu Dhabi. Takreer, the Abu Dhabi oil refining company, was awarded a contract to build a carbon black and delayed coker plant in Ruwais. When completed in 2015, the plant will have an annual production capacity of 40,000 tonnes of carbon black, 430,000 tonnes of anode-grade coke and 520,000 tonnes of propylene.

Also in the pipeline is Abu Dhabi's Tacaamol complex, which is being developed under the supervision of ChemaWEyaat. The project will convert over three million tonnes of naphtha a year to produce paraxylene, mixed xylenes and benzene.

Source: Daily "Khaleej Times", Dubai; 10 June 2013

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)