GCC petchem R&D investments on the rise: GPCA

12 March 2014 12:55 Source:ICIS News

DUBAI (ICIS)--Petrochemical producers in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are ramping up R&D funding amidst a global slowdown in investments, a senior Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA) official said on Wednesday. 

“While the region's petrochemicals industry may spend a fraction on research compared to global investment, the GCC has amongst the highest year-on-year growth rates in R&D expenditure in the world," Moayyed Al Qurtas, Chairman of the GPCA's Research & Innovation Committee said in a statement. 

Al Qurtas said GCC chemical and petrochemical producers spent an estimated $380m on research and development initiatives in 2012, just 0.8% of global R&D spending, but the figure highlights a 43% growth in investments as GCC producers spent $266m on R&D in 2011.

“With global R&D expenditure rising by just 10% in the same period, it is clear to see the Gulf's increasing focus on this sector,” he added. 

GCC petrochemical companies have stepped up efforts in developing R&D facilities, with Tasnee and SABIC recently launching products development research centres. 

Sipchem in Saudi Arabia, and Borouge in the United Arab Emirates, are also planning to open their own facilities in the near future. 

"Moving forward, petrochemical research centres focusing on the performance products are set to become more common in the GCC," said Al Qurtas.

By Aamir Ashraf