GPCA ’18: Mideast chemical industry transformation, consolidation a must

November 27, 2018

The Chairman of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) called upon the region’s chemical industry to transform and consolidate to compete with new players, namely North America due to shale gas development and China because of coal to chemicals.

“We are trying to energise the industry to transform, and also benefit from the growth that the industry is going to experience in the coming years. We are very clear that the industry is going through rapid transformation,” Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan, Chairman of GPCA said on the sidelines of 13th Annual GPCA Forum.

“We need to have a global footprint, we need to have enough investment in technology and innovation, we need to connect with the customers,” Al-Benyan, who is also CEO of Saudi petrochemicals major SABIC, told GPCA TV in an interview.

“And, more importantly, you need to have a global footprint of assets that enable you to become really competitive; therefore there are consolidations required in order for small and medium sized players to cope with those criteria.

“I have to say that I have not seen the progress that I wish to see and hopefully this year the industry players take advantage of this [GPCA] forum,” he added.

Al-Benyan identified two new major players that posed a challenge for the Middle East based producers.

“They are not just new players and competitors; they have the advantage of their own markets. North America through the shale gas development and China through coal to chemicals.

“I think those two markets, they are recipient of our products; now they became our competitors and they have an advantage over us for market availability,” he added.

The Annual GPCA Forum runs from 26-28 November in Dubai.

Source: ICIS News