GPCA '11: GCC firms must act to gain specialty expertise

13 December 2011 10:27  [Source: ICIS news]

DUBAI (ICIS)--Petrochemical firms in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries should participate in joint venture partnerships or acquire chemical companies with specialist knowledge to expand their expertise in producing specialty products, consulting firm A T Kearney said on Tuesday

"Access to technical expertise and know-how is required to produce specialty products," the company said in a report issued during the 6th GPCA Forum in Dubai.

"This is currently limited in local markets," the report titled ‘Breaking New Ground In the Downstream Petrochemicals Sector’ said.

The 6th GPCA Forum is being held in Dubai on 13-15 December, with the theme "Moving Downstream – Creating Value and Sustainable Growth”.

Specialty product technologies are controlled by a limited number of players, demanding dedicated marketing and licensing fees and specialist technical services, according to the report.

"One way to increase access for regional companies is to participate in JV partnerships or, more realistically, potential acquisition of chemical companies with specialist knowledge," it said.

The current condition of the global economy is expected to give attractive takeover opportunities for cash-rich GCC firms, making medium-sized companies with technology in derivatives and specialties an affordable and attractive investment option, it said.

However, looking ahead, technology owners might be reluctant to enter joint ventures given the diminishing feedstock advantage in the GCC, according to A T Kearney.

"Helping Gulf companies add production capacity to the global pool could potentially be seen as undermining their own position and profitability globally," it added.

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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