SABIC to capitalize on shale gas boom


Published — Tuesday 9 April 2013

Last update 9 April 2013 10:23 am

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Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) is planning to build a new cracker in the US to capitalize on its shale gas boom.
Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC’s CEO, said the firm is in talks with partners to invest in at least one or two projects in the US shale gas business to seize the shale revolution.
“We are talking about a cracker, building a new cracker,” Reuters quoted Al-Mady as saying on the sidelines of a forum in south China.
“We are looking at least at one or two investments.”
He ruled out venture capital as a source of financing. Crackers are used to convert hydrocarbons into simpler molecules.
Asia is today’s global engine of growth and one of the world’s largest economic power houses. The continent’s sustainable development and growth was in focus during a discussion this week at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference in Hainan, China.
Mohamed Al-Mady, vice chairman and CEO, along with leaders from government, business and academia in Asia and other continents, were at the forum to share their vision and perspective on the most pressing issues in this region and the world at large.
With the goal of building and sustaining development and growth in mind, Al-Mady said: “The economic trends in Asia are not dissimilar to those found in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East. The success we both enjoy are a result of exports on a global scale translating into rapidly growing economies with a strong and expanding middle class. Higher wages and consumption are the natural outcome, which also bring about challenges for us to produce more, waste less, and insure a sustainable future for our environment and society.”
SABIC has become an integral part of the social and economic fabric of each country in which it operates and has shared ambition with local communities to enhance quality of living through delivery of material sustainability.
Central to its sustainability strategies, the corporation has clear and measurable objectives focused on reducing its carbon footprint and energy consumption through its management culture and practices globally; helping customers design products to enable positive contribution to world sustainability; and investing in new manufacturing processes that do more with less raw material, water, energy and produce lesser waste and emission.
“Our future growth and development is dependent on creating solutions for the major issues facing society today and tomorrow — successful solutions that create value for society and in turn, growth for our business,” Al-Mady added.
One such solution is the emergence of shale gas as a viable natural gas source.
Speaking at the keynote roundtable on “Shale gas: the changing landscape of energy security,” Al-Mady touched on the potential for its development in Asia, and how it would create global shifts in economic power.
“Asia is SABIC’s largest market and we remain upbeat about the region’s economic growth in the years ahead — charted by positive forces spurring sustainable development and growth,” he said.
“China will continue to play a major role in enabling Asian economies growth and steering the global economy stability,” he added.
“Clearly reflected in the country’s 12th Five-Year Plan, it states an increasing focus on reducing environmental impact, increasing its value addition through efficiency and technology while maximizing growth of its domestic consumption. The rise of the Next-11 Asian economies will also lead to an expanded presence in terms of opportunities and growth, for example, in Indonesia given its major oil and gas resources and the sheer size of its market,” he said.
On SABIC’s firm commitment toward fostering environmental sustainability where its interest in shale gas is related to utilization in manufacturing of petrochemicals, not exploration and exploitation, Al-Mady asserted: “We believe the answer lies in bringing sustainability and innovation together. To us, sustainability requires innovation, and innovation finds its value in sustainability. There is no sustainability without addressing the fundamental business challenges that we will face in the years to come. Novel concepts toward “additive manufacturing” tightly connect innovation, manufacturing, supply chain, and commercialization that have been pioneered by the chemicals industry will result in more efficiency and less waste. This creates a virtuous cycle that will benefit countries, people and the environment for future generations.”
In its commitment to Asia’s growth and development, SABIC stated and its journey started in 1976 when the Kingdom formed the company to move from hydrocarbon extraction and low-value processing to high value manufacturing of specialty chemicals and engineering plastics.
Today SABIC materials are the building blocks of various industries, including automotive, construction, electrics and electronics, and packaging.
Across Asia, SABIC has built long term commitment and business relationships in the markets it operates in since the 1980s — creating local partnerships and investment to serve customers; hiring and training its workforce to develop innovative mindsets; transferring technologies and expertise; fostering environmental sustainability and contributing to social development in local communities to achieve win-win outcomes.
To help spur innovation and tap local talent, SABIC has set up technology and innovation centers around the world.
Today there are 18 research facilities globally, including four upcoming centers in Shanghai, Bangalore, and two in Saudi Arabia in 2013.
These technology centers, are part of SABIC’s efforts at a country level to improve manufacturing processes, develop new and better products, and contribute to sustainable environment for the communities.
The development work being done aims to drive ingenuity forward to meet specific needs of customers as well as the wider society.
In China, SABIC collaborates with educational institutions to bring academia and industry together such as with the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, and the Fudan University. Our close partnerships with the universities and institutions also put us near sources of fresh talent and ideas.
A supporter of BFA for the 4th consecutive year since 2009, SABIC is a platinum sponsor and Mohamed Al-Mady is a member of the board of BFA.
The founding of the Boao Forum, which promotes regional economic integration and brings Asian countries even closer to their development goals, was driven by China and officially launched by 26 national states in 2001, with its first meeting held in 2002.

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