08 December 2010 11:19 [Source: ICIS news]
DUBAI (ICIS)--Petrochemicals production in the GCC region could be worth up to $200bn annually by 2020, from $40bn this year, but industry players in the Gulf would need to diversify their downstream product portfolios to realise such targets, the chief executive of state-owned firm Saudi Aramco said on Wednesday.
The petrochemical industry in the region was expected to grow fivefold in value by 2020, with current production at $40bn (€30bn) to increase to $80bn a year over the next 10 years, said Khalid Al-Falih, president and CEO.
In the last 10 years alone, both production and exports have multiplied more than sixfold in value terms, he said.
"But I would like to see by 2020 production hitting the $150bn to $200bn mark," Al-Falih added during a speech at the fifth annual GPCA forum.
The countries within the GCC would have to venture into more elaborate downstream conversion of finished products to increase their share in the global petrochemicals market, he said.
The region's share of global chemicals production amounts to just 1.5% currently, as compared to the proportion in European countries.
"The next 10 years would be in many ways be a golden age for our region in terms of economic conditions. But we also see many structural challenges," Al-Falih said.
"The region has a lot to do," he said, pointing out that added downstream diversification by producers would not only create employment but contribute more significantly to the regional economy.
The GCC member states are the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.
($1 = €0.75)
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