GPCA PlastiCon to highlight latest industry trends, thermoplastic 3-D printing

ABU DHABI, — Petrochemical producers, extrusion technology providers, packaging equipment manufacturers, plastic converters and compounders, food producers, traders, consultants and investors will gather in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, 9th April, to chart the course for growth and sustainability of the GCC plastics conversion industry.

The 8th edition of GPCA PlastiCon, organised by Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), will explore key international industry trends with a focus on where sustainable growth can be created and harnessed within the GCC polymer value chain. CEO’s from some of the region’s largest companies will set the tone for discussion followed by industry experts who will present their ideas about opportunities for future leverage.

Over two days, participants will discuss key topics including thermoplastic 3-D printing, international supply trends and effects on GCC plastics.

The GCC is set to commission three global scale elastomer plants which brings the focus of discussion of the conference to two major topics. The conference will discuss the impact that this market supply push will have for the regions thermoplastic processors and the opportunities that lay ahead for investment within the industry landscape. In addition, it will provide in-depth insight into the future sustainability plans and targets of the GCC plastics conversion industry and the steps that need to be taken to achieve these goals.

The GCC polymer industry is expected to reach 34.5 million tons by 2022, supporting further downstream development, while growing at a CAGR of 3 percent. This is according to the ‘GCC Plastic Industry Indicators 2016’ report due to be released at the 8th edition of GPCA PlastiCon, an annual GPCA event that caters to the plastics segment of the petrochemical industry.

According to the report, future plastic capacity growth will be driven by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman. In 2016, GCC plastics producers’ sales represented 4 percent of the global industry sales revenue, reaching USD 33-34 billion. The industry’s capacity expanded in 2016 by as much as 5 percent, reaching 27.1 million tons. In previous years, Saudi Arabia alone accounted for 2 percent of global polymer sales, and ranked as the eighth largest plastics producer globally.

Synthetic rubbers will witness the biggest number of products introduced in the following years, benefitting from expected growth in the transport and automotive sectors. By 2022, nearly 70 percent of all incremental supply growth will come from commodities polymers, which represent 89 percent of the GCC polymers capacity. GCC engineering and specialty polymers output grew by 15 percent in 2016, reaching 2.5 million tons. The industry also comprises nearly 40,000 employees with additional 118,000 in supporting sectors.

GCC polymer consumption increased by 4 percent in 2016, reaching 5 million tons. Saudi Arabia accounted for 67 percent of the GCC polymer resins production in 2016 and was the largest polymers consumer in the GCC, followed by the UAE which accounted for 19 percent.

Industrial packaging is the fastest growing end user market for polymers in the region. Consumer packaging accounts for 44%, followed by the construction industry which accounted for more than a fifth. Plastic consumption in the GCC is increasing rapidly and reached 94 kg per capita in 2016.

Plastics consumption in Qatar is the fastest growing in the region, growing at 14 percent between 2006 and 2016. This is double the growth posted by market leaders Saudi Arabia and UAE. Qatar however has the lowest consumption ratio to total polymer output. In 2016, that was just over 11 percent, much lower than in other countries. In 2016, Oman enjoyed the highest ratio of polymer consumption to output in the region (48 percent).

A number of industrial parks focused on polymer conversion and multi industry are under development in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Oman, with some being built next to big resin production facilities. In Oman, Orpic I building a new ethylene cracker that will enable polyethylene production for the first time in the country.

Source: Emirates News Agency