24 September 2003 23:23 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--A top Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic) official stated in remarks circulated here Wednesday that he expects the Arabian Gulf region will host the additional 5m tonne/year of ethylene capacity needed to meet emerging consumer markets in the near future.
Abdullah Al-Dabibi, acting general manager of Sabic Americas, said in remarks prepared for an industry conference here tomorrow that emerging chemicals markets in Northeast Asia (NEA), Southeast Asia (SEA) and the Indian subcontinent are set to grow "at a healthy 5-6% per annum."
"The average growth rate in petrochemicals in general and polyolefins in particular," Al-Dabibi said, "is projected to be about 4-5%." This readily translates, he added, "into additional requirements of about 5m tonne of ethylene per year in the foreseeable future."
"I cannot think of any other region in the world," he said, "that is better placed - thanks to raw materials, location and other factors - than the Arabian Gulf region to meet this emerging demand."
Al-Dabibi noted, however, that "petrochemical markets are very sensitive to over-production, and the markets are often de-stabilised by over-capacity and production. Large production units that might appear economical individually, if timed wrongly, can cause havoc in the market, depressing prices to uneconomic levels."
Consequently, he said, "it is the duty of those involved in petrochemicals in the Gulf region to exercise utmost caution and restraint in planning on additions and expansions - in their own interest and in the industry as a whole."
"We not only acknowledge, but we will also accept that challenge," Al-Dabibi said.
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