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Saudi Aramco chief urged the region's petrochemicals producers to add value

December 08/2010

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Khalid Al-Falih, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, today called for GCC chemicals producers to double the business-as-usual estimate of US$80 billion per year for the next decade to $150 billion to $200 billion a year. By 2020, the regions petrochemical and chemical enterprises should increase their sales by a factor of five, Al-Falih said.


In his speech, Al-Falih also noted that refinery-petrochemical integration has only started to emerge in the region, which has been built largely on the competitive advantage derived from gas-based feedstocks.


Comparing the Gulfs petrochemical sector to those in other parts of the world, Al-Falih said the Gulf regions enterprises need to focus on product diversity and downstream value addition. This should go to the extent of supporting industries such as automotives, construction, electronics, textiles, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and others that could benefit from further diversification.


As well as helping to diversify economies and boosting GDP growth, product value addition creates employment opportunities, he said.


Al-Falih called on the Gulfs petrochemical industry to invest more in R&D and innovation, human resource development and to nurture and cultivate a dynamic environment that would bring about commercial success and promote entrepreneurship.


The next 10 years will be a golden age for our region in terms of economic conditions and commercial opportunities, but we also face many structural hurdles and challenges. We must therefore seize this moment before it passes, Al-Falih said.


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