ArabPlast 2019 to open in Dubai next month

Updated 25 December 2018

ArabPlast 2019 to open in Dubai next month

Borouge, Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), National Industrialization Company (Tasnee) and Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) have announced their association with ArabPlast 2019. The event is set to take place from Jan. 5-8, 2019, at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center.

While Borouge will serve as a strategic partner, KIZAD as support sponsor, Tasnee will be the regional associate for the event, while    Orpic is the gold sponsor. This was announced at a press conference at Grand Hyatt in Dubai.

According to Ubhar Capital, shares in petrochemical companies in the GCC performed better this year than in 2017 and the outlook looks decent for 2019. In 2018, earnings of GCC petrochemical companies stood at $7.57 billion compared to full year 2017 earnings of $7.45 billion, higher by 2 percent as reported by the Ubhar Capital report.

“GCC countries play a major role in meeting global demands related to plastics and petrochemicals. This has not only increased the productivity of the industry, but also strengthened its growth,” said Satish Khanna, general manager, Al-Fajer Information and Services, Dubai, organizers of ArabPlast 2019.

With the industry experiencing a steady growth, plans are already in place for a massive investment in the downstream sector, with more than $200 billion expected to be plowed into new refining and petrochemicals ventures in the GCC by 2025. According to a new report released by the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), primary chemicals consumption will grow almost 60 percent to 1 billion tons by 2050, where the Gulf will account for 12 percent of all global high value-chemicals.

“The petrochemical sector has considerable room for growth, and the Gulf represents the world’s fastest growing markets. We are confident that having Borouge, Tasnee and Orpic associate with ArabPlast 2019 will add value to the event, as well as open doors for comprehensive cooperation and business opportunities for visitors and participants,” added Khanna.

Borouge is a petrochemical company that provides innovative, value-creating plastics solutions.

“We are glad to participate at ArabPlast to meet with the industry leaders to exchange ideas and discuss the best ways to move our business ahead,” said Ahmed Al-Shamsi, senior vice president regional MEAE at Borouge. 

He added: “As our participation at ArabPlast this year coincides with our 20th anniversary celebration, Borouge will be able to utilize this important platform to meet with our customers, partners and peers and showcase our innovative polyolefin solutions and emphasize the many opportunities they create, throughout the value chain.”


Whale shark hot spot in Red Sea offers new insights

An international team of KAUST researchers studied whale shark movement patterns near the Shib Habil reef (Arabic for ‘Rope Reef’), a known whale shark hotspot in the Red Sea on the Saudi Arabian coast.
Updated 18 November 2019

Whale shark hot spot in Red Sea offers new insights

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), whale sharks are considered endangered, which means the species has suffered a population decline of more than 50 percent in the past three generations. The whale shark is only two classifications from being extinct. Improvements and conservation efforts are in place, but there is still a long way to
go to protect these gentle underwater giants.
An international team of researchers, led by marine scientists at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and including researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US, has performed an extensive study of whale shark movement and residency using a combination of three scientific techniques: Visual census, acoustic monitoring and satellite telemetry.
Their six-year study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, tracked long-term whale shark movement patterns near the Shib Habil reef (Arabic for “Rope Reef”), a known whale shark hotspot in the Red Sea. The team monitored a total of 84 different sharks over a six-year period, and their results shed light on whale shark behaviors,
which could help to inform conservation efforts.
“The study takes years of passive acoustic monitoring data and combines it with previously published visual census and satellite telemetry data from the same individual sharks. The combined dataset is used to characterize the aggregation’s seasonality, spatial distribution, and patterns of dispersal,” said Dr. Michael Berumen, director of the Red Sea Research Center and professor of marine science at KAUST.

HIGHLIGHT

An international team of researchers, led by marine scientists at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and including researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US, has performed an extensive study of whale shark movement and residency.

They found the aggregation to be highly seasonal, with sharks being most abundant in April and May, and that many of the sharks returned to the hot spot regularly year after year. The study also shows roughly equal numbers of male and female sharks using the site, something that could be unique to Shib Habil. These characteristics indicate that this site may serve an important function for the wider Indian Ocean population of this rare and endangered species.
“Using the combined dataset, we can show somewhat conclusively that the aggregation meets all of the criteria of a shark nursery. This is particularly relevant given that Shib Habil is the only site in the Indian Ocean to regularly attract large numbers of juvenile females. Growing late-stage adolescents of both sexes into full adulthood is critical for sustaining a species. Management of critical habitats like Shib Habil and other aggregations will likely be vital for future whale shark conservation,” said KAUST graduate Dr. Jesse Cochran, lead author of the study.
There is a combination of factors contributing to the decrease of whale shark populations world-wide, including targeted fishing, bycatch losses due to fisheries, vessel strikes from boat traffic, marine debris, and pollution.