Following the recent positive trends in the petrochemical sector this year, governments and the private sector within the region are looking to capitalise on opportunities to leverage downstream projects with higher value incentives.
By the end of 2018, a significant number of projects in the oil, gas and petrochemicals segments within the public sector were planned but remained unawarded. These totalled USD291 billion in the MENA region, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE accounting for USD58 billion and USD50 billion respectively. The International Energy Agency reported that global chemical consumption is expected to grow by almost 60 percent between 2018-2050, with the GCC accounting for 12 percent of all high-value chemicals.
Within the private sector, many key players are also increasing their activity and investing in downstream projects. For example, Saudi Aramco is making investments in refining and chemical projects with a value of more than USD100 billion. ADNOC is similarly expanding its downstream portfolio by investing USD45 billion in projects.
There is little question that moving away from the traditional GCC economic model presents significant hurdles. Nevertheless, this transition may be inevitable, and as with most paradigm shifts, substantial opportunities accompany these challenges. Innovative and agile businesses have the chance to carve a niche for themselves with new ideas and services that will, in turn, cater to evolving sector requirements.
DP World continues to support its customers as we recalibrate and prepare ourselves for a new future for the Middle East’s petrochemical industry. As the primary trade hub for petrochemical and chemical exports in the region, we intend to accommodate future demand and yet retain the flexibility to provide the customised solutions that our customers will rely on as they develop strategies to suit a new commercial reality.
DP World’s integrated hub that synergises Jebel Ali Port with Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) and National Industries Park (NIP) places us in a unique position to offer support in every segment of the supply chain. With 100+ berths covering container, general cargo, and liquid terminals, Jebel Ali Port that handles more than 65 percent of the GCC’s solid petrochemical and chemical exports, and connects cargo to the world consumer markets with a network of 80+ weekly services to 150 direct ports of call. For petrochemicals, in particular, our facilities and end-to-end solutions are substantial, spreading out over two million square metres. Almost 500 companies registered with us are already taking advantage of the port-centric logistics and value-added services we offer, including warehousing, ISO tank storage, cargo mode conversion, chemical blending, and freight forwarding.
We are further expanding our already extensive trade network by connecting Dubai to fertile markets in Central Asia via innovative initiatives such as our upcoming Traders Market, which will occupy a strategic position on China’s New Silk Road.
We are on the cusp of a new and bright future with numerous opportunities to explore. We must not only look towards this new era but also beyond it and ensure we are ready to meet the future on our terms.
The road to success relies on a healthy layer of collaboration, which has always been the core of the DP World’s growth story. We look forward to continuing working closely towards this new future with all our valued partners in the years to come, just as we have done for the past 40 years.