Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait to lead global ‘mega’ petchems projects

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Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait will lead the Middle East with new “mega” petrochemicals projects after a recent slowdown, the CEO of Arab Petroleum Investments Corp, known as APICORP, told S&P Global Platts.

Most of the mega projects have ended and there is a new cycle now, according to Ahmed Ali Attiga.

“Saudi Arabia has huge plans” while “Kuwait is trying to strengthen their petrochem industry downstream,” he said on the sidelines of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association meeting in Dubai.

The UAE will also be part of the new projects, Attiga added. “You’re going to see a lot,” he said.

The petrochemical sector will see an evolution in the next phase toward more investments, with the Middle East remaining the main source for the crude oil and natural gas feedstocks of the industry, Attiga told the conference.

The Gulf region attracted $9.4 billion in mega petrochemicals projects in 2020, up 14.3 percent from a year earlier but still below levels of the last decade, GPCA Secretary General Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun told the conference.

Gulf petrochemicals production rose 1.2 percent in 2020, against a 2.6 percent drop globally, while the region’s capacity utilization was 93.3 percent against 78.8 percent globally, he said.—AN

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