Report on Saudi Arabia's Petrochemicals Industry

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Saudi Arabia Petrochemicals Report Q4 2010" report to their offering. (

Saudi Arabia Petrochemicals Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, petrochemical associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on Saudi Arabia's petrochemicals industry.

Increasing Chinese self-sufficiency and a glut in global basic petrochemicals supplies will prompt Saudi Arabia to add value through a diversified plastics conversion industry, with the country well placed to become a regional leader, according to the latest Saudi Arabia Petrochemicals Report. The joint venture (JV) between Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical to build an ethylene plant of 1.4- 1.6mn tpa capacity is set to miss its 2015 target completion date following a decision in April to move it from Ras Tanura to Al Jubail to save construction costs. The project is also to be reduced in scale. Petro Rabigh is also a cause of concern as its costs have risen from the initial outlay of US$4.3bn to over US$10bn. The commissioning of the Petro Rabigh complex began in Q209, having been delayed from Q408. Nevertheless, ethylene capacity in 2014 is forecasted to be more than double that of 2008 levels at 18.43mn tpa, with Jubail and Yanbu the focus of petrochemicals developments.

Demand growth in Asia, led by the surging Chinese market, has underpinned global petrochemicals growth and is the basis for growth in Saudi output. The Chinese polymer resins market should mirror, if not exceed, economic growth rates of 8.8% in 2010 and 7.5% in 2011, leading to a rise in prices and reversing the temporary drop in profitability seen in 2009.

With domestic demand likely to continue to outstrip supply, China will remain a net polymers importer over the medium term and the largest importer in the world. However, China will become increasingly self-sufficient and the Saudi industry will be looking at an expansion of the domestic and regional plastics conversion industry. The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) accounts for just 2% of the global plastics conversion market, but annual growth is expected to reach 9%-11%, making it one of the fastest growing regions over the medium term. In 2009, the GCC consumed about 2.5mn tpa of polymers, mainly in the packaging and construction markets. With its broad plastics portfolio in the region, which will be expanded further when new projects come online, Saudi Arabia represents the most promising base for downstream conversion industries.

With diversification in mind, in July 2010, the Saudi Industrial Investment Group (SIIG) and CP Chem subsidiary Arabian Chevron Phillips (ACP) announced plans to diversify into downstream products, with investments of about SAR1.8bn (US$480mn) from each partner. One of the projects will produce nylon-6,6, including adipic acid feedstock. At the same time, Petro Rabigh a JV between Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical is planning 17 new manufacturing units at Petro Rabigh II, which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014. In July, Petro Rabigh signed an agreement with the National Industries Company (Tasnee) and Saudi Advanced Industries Company (SAIC) under which they will build a JV 120,000tpa polyether polyols plant using 100,000tpa propylene oxide feedstock from Petro Rabigh.

In the Middle Eastern Petrochemicals Business Environment Rankings matrix, Saudi Arabia is rated as the most attractive country out of the 11 surveyed by some margin, with a score of 74.4 points. Increasing capacity is helping to push up Saudi Arabias score, although this is slightly offset by deteriorating external and financial risk scores. The country is placed ahead of Qatar, which is in second place with 63.4 points, and a cluster of other Gulf countries that cannot compete with Saudi Arabias feedstock or economies of scale. It is also ahead of Iran, which suffers from poor risk levels.

Key Topics Covered:

  • Executive Summary
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Saudi Arabia Petrochemicals Industry SWOT
  • Saudi Arabia Political SWOT
  • Saudi Arabia Economic SWOT
  • Saudi Arabia Business Environment SWOT
  • Global Overview
  • Petrochemicals Market Overview
  • Tables

Companies Mentioned:

  • ChevronPhillips
  • ExxonMobil
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • Sabic
  • Sipchem


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