$300bn worth of opportunity open for Mideast plastics industry

08 April 2013 09:29  [Source: ICIS news]

Construction in Doha, QatarDUBAI (ICIS)--Some $300bn (€231bn) worth of opportunity is open for the Middle East plastics industry, largely from the building  and construction sectors, an official from Saudi petrochemical giant SABIC said on Monday.

“Building and construction are central to [plastics demand] growth. There is a boom for local services and goods,” said Richard Crosby, SABIC general manager for the Middle East and Africa, in a keynote address at the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) Plastics conference in Dubai.

Polymer demand in the Middle East is expected to grow by 20% over a five-year period ending 2016, Crosby said.

Qatar, in particular, is expected to see a strong spike in plastics consumption as it will get busy preparing infrastructure for the hosting of a major sporting event – the FIFA World Cup – in 2022, he said.

Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, will also see a strong increase in its plastics requirement with its plan to build at one million new houses before 2020, Crosby said.

The plastics industry must be ready to meet the expected surge in demand.

“Increasing energy demand will drive the search for alternative resources and optimisation of existing resources. These will be the challenges that need to be addressed by the plastics industry,” Crosby said.

Megatrends such as urbanisation and an ageing population will also drive growth in plastics demand in the Middle East, he said.

“The increasing population is putting pressure on our infrastructure and transportation. People are living longer. Longevity is putting pressure on our resources,” Crosby said.

The two day-conference runs through Tuesday.

($1 = €0.77)

Additional reporting by Prema Viswanathan

By: Muhamad Fadhil
+65 6780 4356

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