Mideast petrochemical and chemical industries worth over $33 billion
Chemtex and Corrosion Middle East 2003, the region’s international exhibition for the chemical, petrochemical, chemical process technology, corrosion control and management industries, that opens at the Dubai International Exhibition Center (DIEC) March 4 is the biggest ever in the six year series.
The exhibition, organized by International Expo-Consults (IEC) and held under the patronage of Dubai’s Department of Economic Development, is 25 percent larger than the 2002 show, with over 70 companies and industry organizations contracted.
The showm which will occupy 1,000 square meters and run until Thursday, March 6, will feature national pavilions from Iran, Korea and, for the first time, India and China. On the eve of the exhibition, IEC announced the 2004 event is expected to continue the show’s rapid growth with separate arenas for the oil and gas industry and the chemicals and corrosion control sectors planned.
“The on-going growth of this important industry exhibition mirrors the growth in the Middle East’s petrochemical and chemical sectors,” said Mohammed Falaknaz, IEC vice president. “The figures are quite staggering. The region’s petrochemical and chemical industries are now conservatively worth in excess of $33 billion. Meanwhile, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states alone export over 27 million tons of petrochemicals and plastics and the market is still expanding. Industry forecasts point to 11 percent growth by the end of the year.”
“In addition, the Gulf states import around $15 billion worth of petrochemical and chemical products annually, with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) accounting for 10 percent of the market,” said Falaknaz. Chemtex and Corrosion Middle East 2003 has a renewed focus on chemical process technology, in response to strong industry demand from the robustly developing sector.
“Studies suggest 2003 and 2004 will see strong regional growth of between 10 and 15 percent, with the next peak in the petrochemical cycle arriving in 2005/6,” said Falaknaz. “In the longer term more than 13,000 million tons per year (t/y) of ethylene capacity is to be built between 2004 and 2010, beyond the three million t/y capacity already under construction, with Iran accounting for more than one-third of the extra volume.”
“This incremental capacity accounts for over 35 percent of the total global capacity additions anticipated this decade – a staggering increase,” said Falaknaz. Citing a recent report by Chem Systems-Nexant Ltd and the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting, Falaknaz said the availability of ethane will be critical in attracting petrochemical investment to the region.
Ethane, a gas extracted from either associated or non-associated gas that is used to produce ethylene, is a building block for plastics, antifreeze, film, fibres, and other products. “A number of major projects are planned or underway that will ensure the necessary gas throughput for economical ethane extraction is achieved. These include Saudi Arabia’s gas initiative; Qatar’s North Field; Iran’s South Pars field and Egypt’s Mediterranean offshore fields,” Falaknaz added.
“The report concludes the substantial increase in export, from these projects, will cause a fundamental change in the global trade balance, with Middle East exports accounting for about 80 percent of the total deep-sea trade in polyolefins, including polypropylene and polyethylene.”
As well as prioritizing the chemical process technology sector, Chemtex and Corrosion 2003, will also feature dedicated areas for speciality chemicals and polymer raw materials; an expanded industry conference and a professional industry-led seminar program.
“With a visitor footprint taking in the entire Middle East and North Africa, the Sub Continent and CIS, the exhibition serves industries where the demand for machinery, equipment, technology and raw materials continues to soar. It will be a launch pad for international companies targeting the region’s new and developing markets,” said Falaknaz.
In addition to its national pavilion that will house 20 exhibitors, India’s official delegation will also host a powerful government-backed industry specific seminar program, at the exhibition, that will include a keynote address by B K Chaturvedi, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India. The program will focus on India’s power and process industry and its engineering, plant and machinery sectors.
Meanwhile, IEC says growing Far East interest in the Middle East’s chemical and petrochemical sectors is highlighted by the presence of official delegations from South Korea and China. The Chinese pavilion will occupy 200 square meters and house 22 exhibitors. “With its low labour and production costs, China is a sleeping giant in the international petrochemical and chemical industry,” said Falaknaz. “But it is beginning to awaken and focus on lucrative overseas markets, such as the Middle East.
“A new era is emerging in the chemical industry. The number of players is shrinking, due to consolidations and acquisitions. Yet the global marketplace is expanding and becoming increasingly competitive as emerging nations introduce dramatically different labour and capital cost structures.” — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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