In its 2012 annual report the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) says: “In contrast to the slowdown in global chemical production due to recession in Europe, inventory imbalances and a decline in global manufacturing led by market weakness, the Gulf region continued to thrive in 2012, outperforming global chemical production which grew by 2.6% in 2012, lower than the 3.8% growth rate in 2011.”

Saudi Arabia maintained its position as the region’s largest petrochemicals producer with 86.4mn tons of capacity – 67.6% of the regional total, the GPCA says (see graph). The Kingdom added 6mn tons/year of new capacity in 2012, while Oman brought online 600,000 t/y to reach 9.5mn t/y and Qatar added 200,000 t/y to reach 16.8mn t/y. Kuwait, UAE and Bahrain held their capacity steady at 7.6mn t/y, 6.1mn t/y and 1.4mn t/y respectively. (CONTINUED - 635 WORDS)