03 April 2012 12:48 [Source: ICIS news]
DUBAI (ICIS)--Innovation is the key to the petrochemical industry for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries that wish to remain competitive at a global level, a top industry official said on Tuesday.
Industry players should also look at technologically advanced downstream applications while establishing close partnerships with their customers, said Abdulwahab al-Sadoun, secretary general of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), in an interview with ICIS.
Al-Sadoun was speaking prior to the third GPCA Plastics Summit on 3–5 April, which has the theme of “Plastic conversion – growth opportunities in the challenging markets.”
Almost 400 delegates from around the world are registered for the annual event.
“[The GCC region] currently has three innovation centre projects going on, to focus on plastic applications,” Al-Sadoun added.
The GCC group comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Three regional polymer majors spearheaded the innovation centre developments, with Saudi Arabia's National Industrialization Co (Tasnee) having run its innovation centre in Jubail since 2009.
Saudi Arabian chemical producer SABIC intends to commission a centre at Riyadh in the third quarter of 2012, and UAE-based firm Borouge plans to open a centre in Abu Dhabi later in the year.
GPCA is also presenting itself as a global platform to facilitate and encourage regional converters to participate in the further development of downstream sectors, Al-Sadoun added.
“[GPCA] brings successful examples from developed countries – highlights of global price trends – to present [the regional converters] with opportunities,” he said, adding that progress can be seen through the improved quality of innovative ideas.
“This is the second time we are giving out plastics awards for innovative ideas, and we've seen tremendous improvements in term of quality," Al-Sadoun added.
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