GPIC expansion project triples the capacity

Dr Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA
With a positive outlook for the GCC petrochemical and hydrocarbon sectors for 2012, Bahrain has already implemented many projects showing the country’s ongoing efforts in keeping abreast with developments in this sector, according to a report.

The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) which released its 2011 annual report showing the GCC sector continuing to strengthen its position globally.

“In Bahrain, Neste Oil, the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), and Noga Holding, have successfully started commercial production at a new base oil plant. The joint venture plant produces premium quality base oils for use in blending top-tier lubricants,” the report added.

Bahrain’s Gulf Petrochemical Industrial Complex (GPIC) also started an expansion project, nearly tripling the company’s existing capacity through the addition of a new ammonia plant, a granular urea plant, and urea granulation unit, together with utilities and associated offsite facilities.

“Regional petrochemicals production capacity grew 13.5 per cent last year, to nearly 116 billion tons, up from 102 billion tons in 2010, on the back of further expansion of manufacturing facilities,” the report claimed.

Saudi Arabia alone accounted for more than half of the $100 billion in sales generated by the GCC petrochemicals sector, with Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation posting total revenues in 2011 of $50.64 billion and a net profit of $7.8 billion.

The GPCA annual report provides a comprehensive overview of the major sector developments in each of the Gulf States.

The report describes 2011 as a year of consolidation after the demand slump caused by the 2008 economic downturn, with the industry recording sales and revenue growth and notable progress in the development of new projects.

“Continued investment and a cluster of significant new agreements demonstrate the leading role the GCC petrochemicals sector is now playing worldwide,” said Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General of the GPCA. “The GPCA is pleased to announce this market growth and to recognize the contribution of every industry player across the region.”

“We are optimistic about 2012, despite the gloomy economic forecast in European and overseas markets, due to the continued focus on technology, innovation and long-term partnerships.”

One of the most significant projects announced last year was Sadara Chemical Company, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical Company signed in October 2011, which will develop 26 manufacturing units specializing in polyurethanes and other high-performance polymers.

“The entry of industry leaders such as Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and SABIC into China through the signing of large-scale petrochemicals joint ventures is another positive trend for the GCC sector,” Dr Al-Sadoun, said.

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