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SABIC: Technology, innovation key to petchem trade growth

The petrochemical industry in the Gulf region needs to focus more on technology and innovation, offer customers more technologically advanced products and design products that meet global demand, said SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO Mohamed Al-Mady, who is also chairman of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), while speaking at the Seventh GPCA Forum in Dubai on Wednesday.
In his opening remarks to a large gathering of industry leaders at the three-day forum, under the theme “Sustaining competitiveness in a rapidly changing world,” Al-Mady said the region’s future competitive advantage will have less to do with feedstock price and supply and more to do with technology and innovation. “We need to direct our efforts toward offering our customers more technologically-advanced and complex products.
Our future success centers on our ability to reach out to customers looking for more sophisticated and technologically-advanced products,” he added.
Al-Mady said the global petrochemicals industry had worked hard to recover from the slump of late 2008 and early 2009. The Gulf petrochemical industry has also shown impressive strength and remarkable resilience, though still in its infancy, he said.
Citing the increasing importance of sustainability, Al-Mady said that it plays a significant role in the competitive landscape — providing more feedstock options and less waste.
He added that many chemical companies have forced reduction in waste and improved efficiency, as energy and water costs have risen and government mandate has forced technological advances required for emission reduction. To remain competitive, a balance needs to be struck between the burning of hydrocarbons for electricity and water production and the development of value-added downstream industrial development, he said.
The GPCA annual forum is a pivotal event in the global petrochemicals and chemicals calendar, providing attendees with an opportunity to access and network with industry leaders and decision-makers, and gain the latest market intelligence.

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