In the not-so-distant future, the Middle East will be the foremost global hub for the petrochemicals industry according to Margaret R. Walker, Global Vice President for Engineering Solutions, Technology Centers and Manufacturing and Engineering Work Processes at The Dow Chemical Company.
Speaking at the Middle East Petrotech 2010 conference and exhibition on May 25, 2010, Walker also highlighted Dow's active participation in the growth of the region's petrochemical industry, its successful partnerships and joint ventures in the Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
Walker was leading a delegation of Dow engineering and commercial experts who delivered technical presentations and engaged with event delegates at the energy industry's leading conference and trade exhibition held in Bahrain from May 23 to 26, 2010. Her 36-year career with Dow includes small, medium, and mega capital project development around the world, and also leading a global workforce of approximately 2,000 employees with substantial activity in the Middle East.
"We work very hard to earn our 'license to operate' and it is critical to build high safety standards and Loss Prevention Principles, to implement best-in-class environment, health and safety technologies and work processes and to train employees on process safety best practices. Last, but not least, it is important for us to work with contractors and suppliers who adhere to the highest levels of safety performance," Walker said.
In her remarks, Walker noted that Manufacturing and Engineering (M&E) technologies and processes play an integral role in the global petrochemicals industry, and Arabian Gulf producers are quickly growing their role in downstream manufacturing. She went on to praise a number of technology centers that have been established throughout the region to focus on enhancing technologies to improve reliability, productivity and address key environment, health and safety issues.
Walker's remarks in Bahrain praised the region's economic growth activities. She also highlighted Dow's continued commitment to grow its regional manufacturing footprint by collaborating with partners who are equally committed to balancing manufacturing excellence with a commitment to safety, training and career development for the region's growing workforces.
Citing Dow's recent M&E highlights in the Middle East as examples, she said that EQUATE, Dow and Kuwait's PIC's successful 15-year joint venture and one of the Middle East's leading producers of polyethylene and ethylene glycol, is already operating at safety levels that Dow aspires to as part of its 2015 Sustainability Goals. She also noted that since 2005 Dow has worked with EQUATE to administer nearly 14 consecutive years of training, 365 days a year.
She added: "Through our various Middle East operations and joint ventures, Dow designs sustainability and reliability into the assets, using best-in-class processes and technologies - so that the facility is safe - for employees and the environment, and fully operational, enabling investors to recoup their multi-billion dollar investment quickly."
Dow's technical presentations at the event connected chemistry with the principles of sustainability, and shared industry leading thinking on the subjects of petrochemical site integration and optimization, and plant mechanical integrity and process safety. In addition to a strong presence at the conference, Dow was represented by leaders from Dow's global Oil & Gas Business Unit, who promoted the latest chemical technologies, services and products catering to regional customers in the Oil and Gas industry.
Dow delivered sales of $13.4 billion for the first quarter of 2010, representing a 33 percent increase compared with sales in the same period last year on a pro forma basis excluding divestitures. Top-line growth was driven by a 16 percent increase in volume and a 17 percent increase in price. The first quarter also witnessed a 35 percent improvement in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).