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China contributes to 50% of all petrochemicals growth in 2016-2025: forum

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-11-29 13:19

DUBAI - A Saudi senior energy businessman said Tuesday that China's rise to self-sufficiency in relation to petrochemicals poses a challenge to the Gulf Arab industry.

"China, along with overall Asia, is the engine of chemical demand. It is expected that China will contribute to around 50 percent of all incremental chemicals growth between 2016 and 2025," said Yousef Al-Banyan, chief executive officer of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic).

He made the remarks during his keynote speech at the ongoing annual Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) forum on Tuesday.

"The only chain where China remains insufficient is ethylene," added Al-Benyan, also chairman of GPCA. "But we do not know how long it will remain so."

The 22 producers of petrochemicals across the six Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the GPCA forum's host country the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman, will have to transform themselves and increase productivity, move from basic products to speciality products and embrace sustainability, digitization and partnerships in order to raise global competitiveness, he noted.

The way to address the growth driven by Asia, according to Al-Benyan, is to create "win-win partnerships globally."

Earlier last week, Sabic signed a memorandum of understanding with the world's biggest energy company Saudi Aramco to jointly develop a crude oil to chemicals complex in the kingdom, which is expected to process 400,000 barrels per day of crude oil.

The 75-billion-Saudi-riyal ($20 billion) complex, where Sabic and Aramco will hold equal shares, is expected to start in 2025 and produce approximately 9 million tons of chemicals and base oils annually.

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