Middle East Well Positioned To Become Global Petrochemical Hub - Dow Chemical Company
The Middle East is well positioned to become a global petrochemical hub, a senior executive of The Dow Chemical Company yesterday told delegates at the Saudi Energy Forum - the premier international oil, gas and petrochemical event in the region.
Dow, a global leader in science and technology and the world’s largest producer of chemicals and plastics, was a sponsor of the Saudi Energy Forum held in Dammam in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from November 19 to November 20, 2006. Dow hosted a special breakfast at the event, yesterday, for all participant VIPs and delegates.
Dow Executive Vice President for Basic Plastics and Chemicals, Michael Gambrell said the world was witnessing an historic West-to-East shift in the centre of gravity for the petrochemical industry. In particular the Middle East was becoming a focal point for growth in petrochemical production.
This shift was being driven by many factors including more competitively priced feed stocks, the region’s close proximity to the world’s fastest growing markets - China, India and Southeast Asia, strong political support to build a competitive export-based industry, project finance availability, tax incentives and the newest cracking facilities with advantages of scale and the latest technology.
However, to become a true global leader in the chemical industry the Middle East needed to act sustainably, “go downstream” and also make end-use petrochemical products that could be shipped directly to consumer markets, he said.
For over three decades, The Dow Chemical Company has pursued a strategy of steady growth in the Middle East. Since opening its first commercial office in Cairo in the early 1970s it has established a solid presence in the region and currently has manufacturing plants or state-of-the-art petrochemical joint ventures in Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
Mr Gambrell said Saudi Arabia’s vision of attracting downstream customers to build production plants in the Kingdom was “a very good one” but would not be easy to execute.
“To do it, you need more than natural resources. You need human resources, or as we like to say in Dow, the ‘Human Element” and you need expertise in downstream markets such as packaging, adhesives, coatings, and systems.
To make really interesting products, you need more than olefin chemistry. You also need aromatic chemistry and chlorine chemistry. These are the critical building blocks for thermosets, vinyl, specialty chemicals, agricultural products and pharmaceuticals.”
“Dow’s planned complex with Saudi Aramco at Ras Tanura will include this type of broader product slate, which will open up endless possibilities for chemical manufacturing at world scale in the Kingdom,” Mr Gambrell said.
Global players also needed global reach and a supply chain with the ability to deliver product anywhere in the world, which companies like Dow already had. But most of all aspiring leaders needed to act sustainably in terms of managing waste and making sure products are used responsibly, he concluded.
About The Dow Chemical Company
Dow is a diversified chemical company that harnesses the power of science and technology to improve living daily. The Company offers a broad range of innovative products and services to customers in more than 175 countries, helping them to provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. Built on a commitment to its principles of sustainability, Dow has annual sales of $46 billion and employs 42,000 people worldwide. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com
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