SABIC Chief Executive Muhammad al-Mady has called on European governments for support in dealing with changing petrochemicals industry economics. Addressing the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) annual meeting in Berlin on 7 October, he said: “Europe faces a new reality. The European chemical industry and various governments need to focus on more resource and cost efficient manufacturing, targeting incentives for innovation at the development stage and instituting a robust regulatory framework based on good science with clear goals.” Governments must proactively support this transition, as it cannot be done by industry alone, he said.

The Saudi state petrochemicals firm has announced a restructuring of its European operations in the face of “structural changes” in the market. This will involve the shutdown of some assets and a net reduction of 1,050 jobs, along with plant upgrades (MEES, 3 May). The company announced on 16 October the start of the final stage of a €135mn upgrade of the 670,000 tons/year naphtha cracker at its Geleen plant in the Netherlands. This will reduce energy consumption by 8%, increase ethylene output by 2% and “transform the cracker into one of the best in Europe.” (CONTINUED - 292 WORDS)