GCC Petchems: Innovation Needed

GCC petrochemicals producers are engaging in a much-needed boost to R&D spending despite a global investment slump, according to the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA). GCC petrochemicals output for 2012 was worth $97.3bn, 2% of the global figure, but GCC producers spent a mere $380mn on R&D, “just 0.8% of global R&D spending,” the GPCA says.

However this 2012 spend was 30% up on $266mn for 2011, while global petrochemicals R&D spending increased 10% year on year.

GCC petrochemicals firms have stepped up efforts in developing R&D facilities, with Saudi firms Tasnee and SABIC recently launching product development centers and Saudi firm Sipchem and Abu Dhabi counterpart Borouge opening facilities in the near future. “Petrochemical research centers focusing on performance products are set to become more common in the GCC,” Muayyid al-Qurtas, Chairman of GPCA’s Research and Innovation Committee said, ahead of a GPCA R&D summit in Dubai on 12-13 March. (CONTINUED - 269 WORDS)