Mid-East petchem growth boosting logistics

04 September 2007 03:01  [Source: ICIS news]

DUBAI (ICIS news)--Growing petrochemicals production in the Middle East has cast the spotlight on the growing significance of logistics services in the sector, an industry participant said late on Monday.

Already, supply chain and logistics functions in the Middle East petrochemical sector have grown over the last 15 years to support the growing needs of the industry, said S.I. Mustafa, managing director and CEO of MDR Logistics.

He was speaking at a Middle East marine and chemicals logistics conference.

Logistics in the chemicals sector is becoming increasing critical as the total annual production of solid polymers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is expected to rise to 26.5m tonnes in 2010, said Mustafa.

Similarly, the GCC/Middle East consumption of solid polymers is expected to increase from the existing 1.2m tonnes to 2.54m tonnes in 2010. Also, total export to other countries is expected to increase from the existing 7.9m tonnes to 14.8m tonnes in 2010.

This presents several opportunities in petrochemical logistics, including an increase in the number of trailers, from plants to ports, and from plants to countries in the GCC and Middle East, said Mustafa.

However, the increase in petrochemical production and resultant growing logistics requirements would bring key challenges, such as the lack of skilled manpower, safety, health, environment and quality (SHEQ) concerns, poor road infrastructure, and container availability, he said.

Logistics in the Middle East petrochemical sector has developed from its traditional transporter/forwarder role to an end-to-end solution provider, Mustafa said.

Logistic service providers in the region currently offer the petrochemical industry services such as silo management (on and offsite), bagging, palletising and product handling, and warehouse and yard management (on and offsite).

Other functions include inventory management, shipping and dispatch control, import and export management, trucking, and end-to-end forwarding.

By: Anuradha Rao
+65 6780 4359

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