The Qatar Minister Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada will inaugurate the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association…

HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada will inaugurate this year’s “Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA) Annual Forum” to be held from November 23 to 25 in Dubai, the GPCA confirmed yesterday.

The GPCA’s flagship event, the forum is the leading networking event for the petrochemicals and chemicals industry in the Arabian Gulf region, GPCA secretary general Dr Abdulwahab al-Sadoun said.

“As a series of multi-billion dollar projects have been announced, Qatar’s downstream sector has emerged as a dynamic industry,” al-Sadoun said.

Qatar currently operates a petrochemical portfolio consisting of a capacity of 19mn tonnes, earning up to $11.5bn in revenues, and producing diverse products like fertilisers, plastic, and fine chemicals.

Saudi Aramco chief executive officer Khalid al-Falih is set to deliver the keynote address, marking his return to the annual forum.

Notable speakers at the annual forum, which is now on its ninth edition, include Total’s president of refining and chemicals Patrick Pouyanné; Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Kaust) president Dr Jean-Lou Chameau; Bayer Material Science chief executive officer Patrick Thomas, and Board of Reliance Industries Limited executive director Nikhil Meswani.

Al-Sadoun said the participation of leaders from every facet of the energy sector is a testament to the growing importance of the petrochemicals industry.

The Gulf petrochemicals industry, as a whole, grew 2% in 2013 compared with the previous year and generated sales revenue close to $82bn. Analysts have predicted that the emergence of low cost hydrocarbons in the US may drive competition between chemical producers from North America and the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) for markets in Europe and Asia.

Previous inaugural speakers at the GPCA annual forum included Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz; UAE Minister of Environment and Water Dr Rashid bin Fahad, and Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali bin Ibrahim al-Naimi.