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Fertilizers producers in the six GCC countries have doubled their capacity over the past 10 years. They see growth continuing at 3.3% a year. But competition for limited gas feedstock and the growth of competing technologies may curb their ambitions.
GCC fertilizer capacity rose from 20.2mn tons/year in 2004 to 40.9mn t/y in 2014, according to the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA). Capacity grew by 4% in 2014 alone, according to the GPCA’s freshly-released ‘Fertilizers Indicators 2014’ report.
The year’s key development was the completion of the Safco 5 plant in Jubail on the coast of Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. The Saudi Arabia Fertilizers (Safco) subsidiary of state petrochemicals giant Sabic finished building the plant last year, but trial production only began this May (MEES, 31 July) with full commercial production yet to follow. The $2bn plant will produce 1.1mn t/y of urea.
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