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NEWS 06 | BUSINESS BRIEFING 13 | HAZARDOUS CARGO 14 | PROJECT UPDATE 21 | DATA 22 | FACE TO FACE 24

NEWS, DATA AND ANALYSIS FOR RT TH THE HE R RE REFINING EFINI FIN FI NIING N AND PETROCHEMICAL INDUSTR INDUSTRIES

JANUARY 2010

THE GPCA GP ANNUAL FORUM PRO PROTECTIONISM AND INDUSTRY SUSTA SUSTAINABILITY TOP THE AGENDA

HAZARDOUS CARGO H HOW TO AVOID FALLING FFOUL OF STRICT REGULATION

Jamal Malaikah, president and COO of NatPet

UP AND RUNNING NatPet overcomes delay issues & is ямБrst out of the blocks for 2010

An ITP Business Publication, Licensed by International Media Production Zone


1

In Print January 2010

06

16 4 EDITOR’S LETTER Companies which snubbed the fourth GPCA forum in Dubai will have missed valuable networking opportunities.

6 REGIONAL NEWS KBR scoops Rabigh II deal. Sipchem eyes JV contracts. Giant starts acetic exports. Huntsman signs amines JV with Zamil.

10 COVER STORY Jamal Malaikah, president and COO of NatPet, talks exclusively to Petrochemicals Middle East.

10

14 HAZARDOUS CARGO The delivery of hazardous products is governed by specific requirements and regulations. PME takes a closer look at the issue.

16 GPCA COVERAGE The fourth annual forum of the GPCA shone a light on the critical issues facing the industry mainly protectionism and the downturn.

22 DOWNSTREAM DATA The most important petrochemical product and share prices from the Middle East’s leading listed companies.

14 www.arabianoilandgas.com

24

24 FACE TO FACE Meet Rob Meek, CEO of Impact Solutions.

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010


2 Online

The online home of:

SAUDI ARABIA UNCOVERED ERED

ONLINE GALLERY

MOST POPULAR NEWS

1 Iraq oil contracts: the December bid round winners 2 Saudi Aramco JV brings $6bn Yanbu deadline forward 3 Kuwait announces $87.6bn energy budget 4 Exclusive: ENOC reacts to Dragon offer rejection 5 Foster Wheeler wins Manifa generator contracts

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Behind the scenes

Petro Rabigh up close

The ArabianOilandGas.com picture gallery takes you behind the scenes of the National Petrochemical Industrial Company (NatPet) in Saudi Arabia, with shots of various plants.

PME reporters and photographers got unlimited access to Saudi Arabia’s largest downstream launch of 2009. Log on to read exclusive interviews and view our online gallery.

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PROJECT FINANCING Review of the lending climate for downstream companies.

BREAKING NEWS AND VIEWS FIRST

IPIC’S REFINERY STUDIES ON TRACK

EQUATE HAS NO EXPANSION PLANS

Abu Dhabi’s IPIC said that it expects to complete studies on two of its reneries in the UAE and Pakistan by early 2010.

Hamad Al-Terkait, CEO of Equate Petrochemical Company said that the Kuwaiti company has no plans for further expansion.

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YANBU DEADLINE REVISED

WEB FORUM

TOPAZ WINS EPC DEAL FOR FUJAIRAH

Saudi Aramco and US rm ConocoPhillips have cut ve days off the deadline date for bids to build the US$6 billion Yanbu oil renery.

Topaz Energy has been awarded a contract by the Fujairah Renery Company to carry out work at an oil terminal at the Port of Fujairah.

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Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010

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E JOIN TH DEBATE

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4 Comment

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f you didn’t attend the annual forum of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), I can tell you that you missed out on the biggest petrochemicals event in 2009. Though it is only the fourth annual forum, the record number of highprole attendees illustrates the Middle East’s growing dominance in the world downstream arena. The event drew CEOs and senior executives from the top international petrochemicals players to Dubai to attend or to present speeches at the forum, and in the current painful climate that is not an easy thing to do. This is additionally impressive when you consider how busy schedules are, especially given the actual challenges that are facing producers in other parts of the world. Networking was the ultimate goal of each delegate; this could be noticed easily from the number of participants per company. Even small rms brought along at least three delegates to allow maximum networking in the hope of opening up new business opportunities, and forging stronger ties to the region downstream companies. Those who didn’t make it to the show have no-one to blame but themselves as they truly missed an excellent opportunity to meet face to face with top decision makers. I spoke with CEOs of petrochemicals companies from the US, Europe and Asia, and everyone agreed that the show was a great success, and denitely a tough one to drop from their agenda in 2010. However, for the benet of those executives who couldn’t be there this year, Petrochemicals Middle East is delighted to bring you a comprehensive round-up of the news and views of the major players in this edition and online at www.ArabianOilandGas.com.

I

Abdelghani Henni, editor

Circulation Customer Service Tel: +971 4 435 6000

e-mail: abdelghani.henni@itp.com

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Printed by Color Line Printing Press Subscribe online at www.itp.net/subscriptions The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the reader’s particular circumstances. The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review.

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Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010

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6 News

$100bn investment in KSA

Borouge 2 all set for June launch

Saudi petrochemicals production capacity to reach 80m by 2015

Mechanical completion of Abu Dhabi’s Borouge 2 is expected to be completed in early 2010, while the commercial production of the project is expected to be in June of the same year, according to an ofcial source from the company. The source said that the project was still on schedule to meet the initial June start-up date for initial production. “We are on track and we reached more than 90% of the EPC [engineering, procurement and construction] work of the project,” the source told Petrochemicals Middle East. Borouge 2 is expected to triple the existing production capacity at the complex in Ruwais to 2 million tonnes per annum (tpa), including, for the very rst time, polypropylene. The Borouge 2 expansion will include an ethane cracker producing around 1.4 million t/y of ethylene, the world’s largest olens conversion unit, a 540 000 t/y PE plant and two 400 000 t/y PP plants.

The Saudi Arabian energy minister has said that the KSA plans to increase investment in its petrochemicals industry to US$100 billion and to increase production capacity by 20 million t/y by the year 2015.

Giving the keynote speech at the Gulf Petrochemical and Chemical Association (GPCA) Forum Ali Al-Naimi spoke at length about the Saudi Arabia’s plans to massively expand its petrochemical and rening busi-

Saudi Arabia inaugurated its first integrated petrochemical project in Rabigh in Nov 2009.

ness, especially in its signicant home market. “By 2015 the Kingdom’s petrochemical production is projected to increase from today’s levels of about 60 million t/y to more than 80 million t/y,” Al-Naimi said. “Industry analysts project that direct investment in the Saudi chemical and petrochemicals industry by 2015 will far surpass the 100 billion dollar mark.” Al-Naimi also called upon the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to free up trade routes in order to allow the world to trade itself out of recession. “Gulf petrochemicals producers are long-term players, aiming to deliver affordable products to consumers arround the world,” Al Naimi said. “It is certainly in our interests to work to maintain open markets. Growth in global trade is in our interests as well as those of our customers around the world,” the petroleum minister concluded.

KBR scoops Rabigh II deal Sipchem eyes JV contracts The US-based engineering company KBR has announced that it has been awarded a contract by Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical at the companies’ joint Rabigh II Project in KSA. The scope of works on the contract, the value of which was not disclosed, will see KBR provide basic engineering and related services for its phenol technology in support of a detailed feasibility study for the project. “KBR will provide a basic engineering package and related services to facilitate the feasibility study, a joint initiative between Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo,” a

statement released by KBR said. “The study is designed to evaluate the viability of investment in the Rabigh II Project, which includes an ethane cracker, a new aromatics complex and various petrochemical units including phenol and acetone,” it added. The project is planned as a major expansion of the existing petroleum rening and petrochemicals production complex in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia. “KBR looks forward to participating in its second grassroots phenol project in Saudi Arabia,” said KBR Tecnology president Tim Challand.

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010

The CEO of Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) has said that the company is expecting to start awarding the engineering contracts for its US$1.1 billion joint venture project with Hanwha Chemical Corporation of South Korea by the end of the next year. Ahmad Al Ohali said that the project is on track and they expect the commercial start up of the project during the second half of 2013. The new polymers venture will have a capacity of 200 000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and

125,000 tpa of polyvinyl products. The plants will be built on Sipchem’s site in Al-Jubail. The feedstocks for the project will be sourced from Saudi Aramco, SABIC, and certain Sipchem afliates. Sipchem will control 75% of the company while Hanwha Chemical will control 25%. By the end of 2013, Sipchem’s total investment will reach approximately US$3.46 billion. Total production will reach 2.5 million metric tonnes of various products, many of which are to be produced for the rst time in the Middle East.

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News 7

Giant starts acetic exports Half of Sipchem’s product to be used as feedstock for VAM plant

The first acetic acid shipment was exported through King Fahd Industrial Port in Jubail Industrial City, destined for Asian markets.

The Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) has started exporting acetic acid from its major plant in Jubail, according to a source close to the company. “The plant is running regularly and we will start exporting our product early. The carbon monoxide plant which is the feedstock of the acetic acid is also running at 100%,” the source said.

The company uses King Fahd Industrial Port in Jubail Industrial City to export its product to the Asian market. Half of the acetic acid production will be utilised as a feedstock for Sipchem’s vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant where the nal stages of start-up are expected to take place in late December. The remainder will be made available to the local and international markets.

The annual production capacity of the new plant is 460 000 t/y of acetic acid and 50 000 t/y of acetic anhydride. The technology for the plant was provided by US rm Eastman Chemical.

460 000

the capacity of the acetic acid plant, in t/y. Source Sipchem

Huntsman signs amines JV with Zamil The petrochemicals giant Huntsman and Saudi investment vehicle Zamil Group have announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the feasibility of constructing and operating a morpholine and diglycolamine agent (DGA) amines joint venture in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The deal would see the companies operate the plant on a 50/50 basis. The facility would use Huntsman technology and

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the company would also have the rights to global sales and marketing of products produced at that specic location. “This joint venture would be the latest step in our continued strategy of investing in higher value-added chemicals,” said Fahad Al-Zamil, president, Zamil Group, Jubail operations. “This planned joint venture would make Huntsman the most global supplier of DGA and morpholine, with a number of assets

in Europe, the United States and now the Middle East,” Daniele Ferrari, the president of the Performance Products division of Huntsman, indicated. Amines are chemical intermediates used in different products including detergents, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, cement, fuels and dyes. Neither company has revealed exactly how much the construction of the proposed plant is set to cost.

Briefs Sonatrach said that engineering works progress on its fertiliser joint venture project with Orascom Industries has reached 75%. The project located in Arzew, on the western coast of Algeria, will produce 1.2million t/y of ammonia and 800 000 t/y of granular urea. The project is expected to start commercial production in 2011, and will target European markets. Saudi Yansab is expected to begin commercial production at its new high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant at Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, in January 2010. The HDPE plant, which will produce bimodal pipe grade, is currently in trial production mode but was expected to achieve commercial output in December 2009. SABIC and King Saud University signed an US$126.64m agreement to prepare engineering design and supervision services for the new SABIC centre to develop plastic applications at the university’s TechnoValley.The first phase of Techno-Valley project would cost $599 million, according KSU president Abdullah Al-Othman. Cristal Global (Cristal) said that it will increase prices on all of its anatase and rutile Tiona and Cristal titanium dioxide (TiO2) products sold in Asia Pacific, by US$130 per metric tonne effective January 1, 2009, or as permitted by contract.

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010


8 News

Snapshot Sinopec inks $6.5bn refinery The Chinese oil giant Sinopec has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state-owned National Iranian Oil Rening and Distribution Company (NIORDC) that will see the company invest US$6.5 billion in the construction of oil reneries in the Gulf state. Tenders regarding the EPC of the reneries will be issued soon.

GPCA signs MoU with ACC The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) signed a MoU with the American Chemistry Council (ACC), to establish a Responsible Care programme for the region’s petrochemicals and chemical industry.

Qapco launches LDPE-3 plant QAPCO announced that it has laid the foundation stone for Qapco’s new LDPE-3 plant in Mesaieed Industrial City in the Gulf state. QAPCO said that the new LDPE-3 plant will add around 300 000 t/y to the two existing LDPE production lines’ current capacity of 400 000 t/y.

SABIC to launch 18 plants in 2010 SABIC is expected to launch between 16 and 18 new petrochemical plants in 2010, including the Saudi Kayan and Sharq plants.

SABIC to triple production Extra 130 million tonnes includes petrochemicals, fertiliser and steel Saudi Basic Industries Corporation “SABIC” aims to triple its production capacity to 130 million tonnes by 2020, according to Mohamed Al-Mady, the CEO of the company. The announcement was made at the December launch of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) annual forum, held in Dubai. The company aims to reach this capacity through organic growth and acquisitions said Al-Madi. “That is a target but we want to reach it protably,” observed Al-Mady. The 130 million tonnes will include petrochemicals, fertiliser and steel. Al Mady said that the US government-backed stimulus package had helped the industry and wider economy at large,

but warned the situation is not stable yet. “There are clouds in the horizon, but we are condent that the recovery is going ahead,” said Al-Mady. The CEO said that he expects

Mohamed Al-Mady, chief executive officer of SABIC revealed the increases at the GPCA

Jizan refinery contracts to be awarded shortly The Saudi Arabian oil minister said that the winning bidder for the contract to build the multi billion dollar Jizan Renery project in the KSA will be announced soon. Speaking at the Gulf Petrochemical and Chemical Association (GPCA) Forum, held in Dubai in December, Ali Al-Naimi revealed that the selection process for the bid had been almost completed. “I hope there will be an answer soon on the winning bidder for the [Jizan] renery. Our policy these days is to try to combine our rening and petrochemical business together. We expect

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010

the prices of petrochemicals products to improve in 2010, and noted current prices are much better than at the beginning of 2009. “We expect a further improvement of prices in 2010,” he said.

an answer before the year-end, I hope,” Al-Naimi said. The Jizan Renery will have a capacity of between 250 000 and 400 000 barrels per day when completed. It is being built in the south of the country near the border with Yemen and will be the rst privately owned renery in the KSA. Sources close to the bid said that bidders include a consortium led by Tasnee and includes Saudi Nama Chemicals group, SABIC and Al-Rajhi, alongside local businessmen. The list also includes Malaysian giant Petronas. The project has been delayed several times due to cost issues.

Events 17-20 January Saudi Petrochem 2010. Trade show. Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 9-11 February Global Petrochemicals Conference 2010. Vienna, Austria. 4-5 March Annual European Petrochemical Markets, Conference. Amsterdam, Netherlands. 21-24 March Dubai Plast Pro‘ 2010, Annual congress. Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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News 9

Kayan receives fuel gas from Aramco The company expects the commercial start-up of its main plants in the second half 2010 Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Company (Saudi Kayan) has announced that it is now receiving fuel gas from Saudi Aramco that will enable the company to start commissioning the utilities of the mega petrochemical project located in Jubail Industrial City in the KSA. “We expect the commercial start-up of our main plants during the second half 2010,” Mutlaq Al-Morished, chairman of Saudi Kayan, said. “The overall engineering works of the project have reached 99.5%, with an average completion of engineering, supply and construction works at 94.9%,” he added. The annual capacity of Saudi Kayan will exceed 4 million

tonnes per annum and will produce some speciality products that will be produced for the first time in the region. These include aminoethanols, aminomethyls, dimethylformamide, choline chloride, dimethylethanol, dimethylethanolamine, ethoxylates, phenol, cumene and polycarbonate. This list is in addition to the usual items such as ethylene, propylene, polypropylene, ethylene glycol, butene-1 and other products. SABIC holds 35% of the company’s capital and Kayan holds the remaining 20%. The remaining total of 45% of the shares of the company are listed in the Saudi stock market (Tadawul).

The Jubail plant will manufacture some products for the first time in the region.

Global digest: News in numbers

6.5% The expected growth of global demand for monoethylene glycol (MEG) in 2010, says industry experts.

1100

The number of attendees at the fourth annual forum of the GPCA, held in Dubai.

115m The petrochemicals capacity of the Middle East by 2015, in t/y.

2

The number of delayed units at Saudi Kayan projects that will start up in 2012.

www.arabianoilandgas.com

16%

7m

GPIC has exported 7m tonnes of Urea since 1998

The Middle East’s share of world petrochemicals output by the year 2015.

$65

-55%

The decline of profits at Kuwait’s Boubyan petrochemicals company, to US $29.5m.

MEG prices rose $65 to $925 per tonne for Jan.

6.6

million

The petrochemicals capacity of the UAE by 2015, in t/y, from the current 2.6m t/y

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010


10 Cover Story

NatPet’s PP plant in Yanbu Industrial City.

UP AND RUNNING Jamal Malaikah, president and COO of Saudi Arabia’s newest polypropylene producer, NatPet, talks exclusively to Petrochemicals Middle East

T

he huge number of petrochemicals projects launched in Saudi Arabia between 2005 and 2006 affected the commercial start-up of many companies that saw delays as a result of a lack of qualied contractors, construction materials and a number of other factors. One of those affected companies has been National Petrochemical Industrial Company (NatPet), which is headquartered in Jeddah. The company opted in 2005 to sign a contract on a lump sum turnkey (LSTK) basis for its project with a number of international contractors. It signed a deal for its propylene unit with Germany’s Lurgi

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010

using UOP’s Oleex technology to produce propylene from propane. In addition, it also inked another LSTK basis contract with Tecnimont of Italy. Furthermore, NatPet opted to use LyondellBasell’s Spheripol technology for its polypropylene and utilities requirements. In December 2008, Natpet announced the commissioning of its plant, but, like many petrochemicals projects both in Saudi Arabia and around the world, the company saw intermittent production, which is a normal occurrence in this phase. Petrochemicals Middle East took the opportunity to meet with Jamal Malaikah,

president and COO of the company, to discuss this mammoth undertaking. “We are one of at least ve petrochemical companies in Saudi Arabia that have faced delays,” says Malaikah. “I believe the boom in mega projects in the GCC and around the world has put a lot of pressure on resources, manpower, engineering companies, vendors and materials. All those projects that started construction in 2005 and 2006 have faced major delays,” he explains. The company’s production facility is located in Yanbu Industrial City on the western coast of the Kingdom. Production during the start-up period was irregular and

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Cover Story 11

witnessed some technical problems. Malaikah dismisses those problems as normal. “All petrochemicals projects face technical problems in the rst year and NatPet is no exception. However, we will see regular production in 2010 and in the years to come,” he promises. The president claims that operational rates at the plant are close to 100%. “So far, we are doing well,” afrms Malaikah. NatPet sells its products under off-take and marketing agreements (which are normally negotiated prior to the construction of a facility). It signed a marketing contract with SABIC and another off-take agreement with Noble, a diversied conglomerate based in Hong Kong, to market its product in Asia and Turkey. In addition, NatPet markets its polypropylene through its own marketing and sales organisation. Currently, the company uses the Jeddah Islamic Port, instead of Yanbu, to export its products. “We only use Jeddah Islamic Port because shipping companies are not calling at Yanbu due to the small size of exports from there,” reveals Malaikah. But Jeddah is about 400 kilometres from the Yanbu plant, which naturally adds extra cost to the rm’s logistics bill. As with all petrochemicals companies in the Kingdom, NatPet receives gas allocations from Saudi Aramco. It started receiving gas for its fuel requirements in November 2007. On 16th March 2008, the company received propane gas feedstock for the PDH unit. But the price of feedstock is expected to be reviewed by Saudi Aramco in 2012. “We rmly believe that the prices for certain feedstocks should be decreased and not increased – propane is one of them,” says Malaikah. “Saudi Arabia should sustain its competitive advantage in the petrochemicals eld and increasing feedstock prices may damage this position,” the NatPet president continues. “I am hopeful that there will be a positive dialogue between the policy makers and the petrochemicals sector with regard to this particular matter.” Losing that feedstock cost advantage would hit the protability of the petrochemical companies in the Kingdom and may affect the position of Saudi Arabia as the new hub of the industry. “The damage is not going to be limited to reduced protability and our ability to

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compete when there is a down cycle or a slow down, but, more importantly, it could ruin the opportunity to allow Saudi Arabia to become a petrochemical and downstream hub,” says Malaikah. “In our view, this is extremely damaging to the future of this sector and gives the opportunity to other countries to build more petrochemicals projects, thus depriving the Saudi economy of this important opportunity,” he observes. The president says that the downturn has bottomed out and that he expects improvement in 2010. “Being a petrochemicals rm, the major factors affecting us are oil prices, slower demand, risks associated with a weak dollar, and the credit crunch. However, oil is stabilising and the GDP in most countries is picking up. The Saudi economy performed well in 2009, and although we are still facing credit issues, we believe 2010 will be much better,” he says. Surviving the downturn requires a series of actions, Malaikah believes.

“WE ARE ONE OF AT LEAST FIVE PETROCHEMICALS COMPANIES IN SAUDI ARABIA THAT HAVE FACED DELAYS”

MAJOR CONTRACTORS • Lurgi: EPC contractor for the propylene plant • Tecnimont: EPC contractor for the polypropylene plant • Parsons E&C: PMC contractor

“In a downturn, you need to solidify your position in the market, offer distinctive products and services, cut costs, be more efcient in your operations and offer value to your clients.” The president’s intention is that his rm grows vertically and horizontally. In the current climate, it is unlikely that the company will embark on aggressive expansion. Malaikah hints that the ideal period for acquisition may have passed. “I think in 2008 and 2009, the opportunity to do just that was ripe, but acquiring companies in the same eld is an option for NatPet at all times.”

Jamal Malaikah, president and COO of NatPet.

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010


Interview 13

BUSINESS BRIEFING:

Feedstock switching Winter crunch is forcing the Iranian government to reduce ethane gas allocations to petrochemicals companies As winter kicks off, ethane gas allocations to Iranian petrochemicals companies are subject to reduction due to the erce weather conditions impacting the Islamic Republic. The Iranian government tends to rechannel the ethane gas from petrochemicals plants towards domestic usage. This situation forces petrochemical companies to switch to liquid or other lighter feedstocks. “We use ethane of course, but fortunately our plant runs also with other feedstocks such as light ends, rafnate, C5, LPG, heavy aromatic, C3+, C5+, styrene, and acrynotrile,” explains Mohammed Reza Eftekhari, head of production control and planning at Jam Petrochemical Company.

Mohammed Eftekhari, head of production control, Jam.

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“So, when we have a shortage in the winter we can switch to other feedstocks,” he adds. The rm receives 707 000 t/y of ethane feedstock from the South Pars, and 267 000 t/y from Pars Petrochemicals Company. The cost of the ethane feedstock the company receives is US$16 per metric tonne, while for the liquid feed it is calculated according to specic formula benchmarking the naphtha prices in the Arabian Gulf minus 5%.

Phased Development Due to the extent and the time differences among the projects, JPC plants are divided into two phases. “The rst phase of the project includes an ethylene plant. Our ethane cracker produces 1.321m t/y per year, making it the largest single ethylene plant in the world,” says Eftekhari. “We also produce 300 000 t/y of propylene, 900 000t/y polyolen including 300 000t/y of LLDP, 300 000 t/y of high density polyethylene and around 300 000 t/y PP plus an additional 443 000 of MEG,” he explains. The company also produces rafnate, gasoline and other products. The commissioning operation of the Olen unit was completed on January 2008. The second phase of the project will include an alfa-olen plant, a butadiene plant, an ABS plant, BDO/THF plant, and butane-1. The company uses several international technology licences to operate its plants.

Fingertip Facts Company: Jam Petrochemical Company Founded : 2000 Production capacity of phase 1: 3.58 million tonnes per year Start up: January 2008

“We use Technip technology for olens, Shell for MEG, Spherolene technology for the PDH swing plant, Spheripole for the PP plant, Hostalen for HDPE plant from Lyondellbasell, and Lurgi technology for the butandiol plant,” Eftekhari explains. Financing its expansion projects isn’t posing a problem for the company. “It is not an issue for us, as we rely on our internal sources to nance our expansion plans,” the executive adds. Jam Petrochemicals currently has no gateway to the US market due to a rigorous trade embargo, but European markets remain strong for its products. “We denitely see Europe, China and Turkey as our main markets, in that order,” says Eftekhari. “India and Pakistan are also growing clients,” he adds.

Iran in the News ws • Sinopec inks $6.5bn refinery deal with Iran • Iran signs $4bn deals with Sinopec & Belarusneft • Iran gas export deal with Pakistan close

On ArabianOilandGas.com

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010


14 Hazardous Cargo

HANDLE WITH CARE

The delivery of hazardous products is governed by specific requirements and regulations. Petrochemicals Middle East examines the sharp end of the supply chain ne of the main characteristics of oil-derivative products is that they are considered hazardous materials, which have the potential and likelihood to cause environmental or human harm if they are not handled properly. The life cycle of hazardous products goes from process planning and the development of new products through manufacturing, transporting, distribution, use, disposal, cleanup, and remediation. Throughout this whole cycle, any mishandling could result in a disaster. There is a general consensus between specialists about the denition of the hazardous products and their negative impact on the surrounding environment. “Any item or substance that places at risk the public, animals, and the environment, when it’s being transported or moved, is considered as a hazardous product,” says Omar Abdullah Al Shamsi, logistics and trading manager at Emarat. “Our company transports and trades mainly jet A1 fuel, gas oil, gasoline, fuel oil, lube oil and LPG. Every one of these

o

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010

products is classied as hazardous cargo,” he adds. There are many laws and regulations that dene and govern these hazardous cargoes. These regulations are generally administered by environmental agencies, safety and health administrations, and transportation departments. “Transporting by road tankers must comply with civil defence rules and regulations,” says Waddah Ghanem Bani Hashim, group EHSQ compliance manager at Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), which deals with a number of hazardous products in Dubai. On the international side, there are additional rules that govern transportation of hazardous products, whether by sea or by road. “Regulations related to shipping these cargoes by sea are MARPOL Annex 2 (Marine Pollution), the IBC code (International Code for the Construction and Equipment of ships Carrying Dangerous Chemical in Bulk), and the IMDG code (International Marine Dangerous Goods),” says Ashita Khanna, chemical tanker analyst at the UK-based Drewry Shipping

Consultants. “Products such as gasoline, gasoil, fuel oil, and other products must be transported by oil or petrochemical product tankers, which must be classied as IMO 2(chemical tanker or oil tanker),” she adds. It is very rare that companies transport hazardous products by air, mainly because of weight considerations and the cost of

Peter Richards, group director and GM of Gulftainer.

www.arabianoilandgas.com


Hazardous Cargo 15

Outsourcing hazardous materials carriage to freight companies, whether on road, sea or air, passes the responsibility for cooperating with strict legislation onto the logistics provider.

transporting items via this method is often higher. “Emarat doesn’t transport any hazardous cargoes by air,” says Al Shamsi. Whenever a hazardous product is transported, containers should be labelled to identify the hazard that could result from this product in order to take the necessary safety precautions. There are many dangers involved if these products are not labelled or packaged correctly. “If these products are in direct contact with environment, they are going to cause harm; at the very least, the hydrocarbon gas emissions damage the ozone layer and enhance global warming,” says Hashim. Firms are obliged to follow safety requirements by labelling their hazardous cargoes and following the safety standards related to each product. Any failure to comply with these standards may cause fatal accidents, alongside serious burns and other

LEAD ORGANISATIONS THAT DEAL WITH HAZARDOUS CARGO CONTROLS: • International Maritime Organization • UAE Federal Environment Agency • IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. • Dangerous Goods International

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injuries. “In the worst-case scenario, if a company fails to comply with industry standards, the company must be closed immediately by the concerned authority and persons in charge should be black-listed from handling any business related to hazardous cargoes,” says Al Shamsi. Some companies dealing with hazardous products outsource their hazardous cargo freight operations to ensure the special care is taken. “We handle hazardous freight for several major companies in the region, including petrochemical and oil and gas companies. Some of the products are very toxic and require special handling,” says Peter Richards, group director and general manager at the Sharjah-based Gulftainer Company, which operates more than 180 trucks from its local ports. Some companies use their own trucks and need to ensure that their drivers are aware of safety requirements when transporting hazardous cargoes. “Currently we are handling all our products by our own road tankers and have charted one ship for one year for sea transport, which puts all responsibility of the carriage of the cargo during sea passage on the ship operators,” says Al Shamsi. “Every truck should be equipped with re ghting equipment, to allow for immediate intervention,” he adds.

ENOC’s Waddah Ghanem Bani Hashim.

The operational costs of hazardous cargo have also been severely affected by the credit crunch. “While about a year back, vessel earnings were enough to cover the operational cost of the vessels plus some prot, the levels seen since the beginning of 2009 have been barely enough to cover the vessel operating costs,” says Khanna. “To make matters worse, increasing bunker prices are also contributing to the difcult times being faced by ship owners and operators. This has also resulted in increased lay-ups as for several owners as it has become a loss to even sail their chemical vessels,” she adds.

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010


16 GPCA Forum

GPCA IN REVIEW Protectionism, project financing and industry sustainability topped the agenda at the forum

Ali Al-Naimi, Saudi petroleum minister

he Fourth Annual Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) Forum was held from 8th to 10th December, in Dubai. The theme was “Breaking through the crisis to pursue sustainable growth” and the 2009 forum has been the largest in terms of delegates, attracting more than 1100 participants from all over the world. All in all, the event was considered a success, especially when compared to other conferences in Europe, America and Asia, which have seen a notable reduction in the number of attendees. The GPCA had its biggest year ever, with attendees citing it as the best forum for networking and securing new business opportunities. “It represents an excellent opportunity for networking, compared to other events around the world where the same people attend every year,”

T

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010

said Mehdi Adib, vice president, projects at the Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem). The GPCA also delivered an interesting insight and local perspective into the industry at large, with a focus on how the regional players were integrating sustainability into their growth agenda. Major petrochemical producers from the region and from across the world were present in the exhibitors hall. Included were SABIC, Tasnee and Sipchem from Saudi Arabia, all of which attracted many visitors due to the attractive propositions these new titans of the industry now offer. The UAE’s Borouge also exhibited, along with Kuwait’s Equate and Petrochemicals Industries Company (PIC). Qapco from Qatar and GPIC from Bahrain were present, as well as major international producers like

Dow Chemical and ExxonMobil from the US and Lyondellbasell from Germany. Mohamed Al-Mady, chairman of the GPCA and vice chairman and CEO of SABIC, told journalists before the forum’s launch that the association now has 141 members from 20 countries. He also noted that the recession had strengthened the Middle East’s signicance as a petrochemical

48%

increase in attendees The number of delegates at the forum has jumped by nearly half since the event was first inaugurated in 2006.

www.arabianoilandgas.com


GPCA Forum 17

The fourth annual forum attracted more than 1100 delegates from all over the globe, including high profile management figures from the world’s top downstream companies.

“BETWEEN NOW AND 2014, WE WILL HAVE BROUGHT ONSTREAM FACILITIES YIELDING ANOTHER 400 MILLION STANDARD CUBIC FEET PER DAY OF ETHANE” ALI AL NAIMI, SAUDI PETROLEUM AND MINERALS MINISTER manufacturing hub, and that conditions had improved signicantly in the previous 12 months. which had seen the global nancial system in disarray and the economy deal with a sharp global downturn. “Now, one year later, there is some room for guarded optimism,” Al Mady said. The SABIC CEO also revealed that the main concerns of petrochemicals producers in the region are linked to the protectionist measures that have been sparked by difcult economic conditions. “In times like these, governments sometimes yield to antiglobalisation arguments, which is a very serious challenge to the expansion of global trade and a serious concern for petrochemical producers in the Gulf,” he added. The forum featured 11 major sessions, mainly focusing on the

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impact of the economic crisis on the different aspects of the industry in the region and how to succeed during the downturn. Two breakout sessions also took place. One, focusing on human resources, discussed “Leadership in an Era of Constant Change,” by Dr Vijay Govindarajan, one of the world’s leading experts on strategy and innovation. The second breakout session on sustainability was entitled “Pursuing Sustainability in the Chemical Industry.”

highlighting petrochemicals diversication. “Energy companies should take a longerterm view in their business strategies rather than focus on next quarter’s protability,” said Al-Naimi. Al Naimi added that neither the recession of 2008 and 2009 nor any protectionist measures by parties outside the GCC region can alter the fundamental reality of the region’s long-term comparative advantages that will enable it to be the world’s leading hub for petrochemicals production, and increasingly, the hub of choice for more

Saudi Highlights Saudi minster of petroleum and mineral resources, Ali Bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi, delivered the opening keynote address

Stephen Pryor, president of ExxonMobil Chemical.

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010


18 GPCA Forum

sophisticated downstream producers and converters. He also announced that several initiatives to provide additional supplies of feedstock to the petrochemicals industry in Saudi Arabia are under way. “We are bringing a number of gas facilities into operation, which will have ethane supplies,” he said. “Between now and 2014, we will have brought on stream facilities yielding another 400 million standard cubic feet per day of ethane.” Al Naimi, who is also the chairman of Saudi Aramco, said that the region has successfully attracted investment in the chemical industry because of its competitive advantages. “These include reliable, affordable supplies of feedstock, geographic location, and port facilities to serve the Asian and the European markets,” he said. Highlighting the importance of the petrochemicals industry in the Kingdom, the minister referred to the number of listed petrochemicals companies in the Saudi stock market (Tadawul), which reached 13 rms in 2009. “From a single petrochemicals complex in 1983, the Kingdom now has 24 mega petrochemicals complexes, 14 of which are in joint ventures with international companies,” he said. In response to a question on whether Saudi Arabia will adhere to previously announced plans to raise the price of gas allocation from 75cts per million btu to $1.25per million btu as of 2012, Al Naimi said that the Kingdom has not yet decided on the price it will charge. “We will continue to sell at 75cts per million btu and we will continue to look at what is the appropriate price.”

All the major petrochemical producers from the region and from across the world were present in the exhibitors hall.

Finance Talks The main speaker during day two of the event was Khalid Hamad, executive director of banking supervision, Central Bank of Bahrain. He noted that the shorter maturity and the associated renancing needs are the major risks for project nancing in the petrochemicals sector as stability returns to credit markets. “Financing is still available for sound projects, but it is unlikely that we will see an immediate return to 20-year maturities. Project development will need to take into account not only a

higher cost of credit, but also the need to renance at some point during the life of the project,” said Hamad. The regional petrochemicals industry could benet from alternatives to banks, such as Islamic nance, according to Hamad. “However, until there is greater consolidation in the Islamic nancial sector, Islamic banks themselves are unlikely to be sufciently large to nance major projects. For that, Islamic securities may provide a more viable nancing model,” he said. Hamad stressed the need for the region to develop its capital markets and broaden the range of nancing options for major projects. As the global economic recovery takes hold, new opportunities in the petrochemicals sector will become more apparent and the emerging markets will play a bigger role in the global economy. “This will have signicant implications for the demand for petrochemical products and hence for opportunities in the sector.”

Supply Chain

Hamad Al Terkait, vice chairman of GPCA and CEO of Equate.

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010

Meanwhile, Hamad Al Terkait, vice chairman of GPCA and CEO of Equate Petrochemical Company, said the Gulf region is, and will remain, a strong focus of growth and progress for the industry. Al Terkait said that the supply chain in the region should be improved and ports need debottlenecking. “The Jebel Ali port is the main

www.arabianoilandgas.com


GPCA Forum 19

“DUMPING CHARGES AND TARIFFS ARE A CONCERN FOR AN INDUSTRY BUILT ON FREE TRADE AND OPEN ACCESS” STEPHEN PRYOR, PRESIDENT OF EXXONMOBIL CHEMICAL operating port in the region. It serves all the countries of the region and more than 51% of Saudi petrochemicals companies use it to transport their products,” said Al Terkait. “What will be the case when Borouge will be fully operational? We should solve these issues before it become a real concern,” explained Al Terkait. Stephen Pryor, president of ExxonMobil Chemical, noted that the challenges the industry faces are related to tariff barriers, climate change regulations, Khalid Hamad, executive director of banking supervision, Central and cost. “Dumping Bank of Bahrain. charges and tariffs

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are a concern for an industry built on free trade and open access, and a particular issue for Middle East exports,” said Pryor. “We must be vigilant and proactive in defending free trade to these threats,” he said. Adding other dimensions to the position of the Middle East, Greg Garland, president and CEO, Chevron Philips Chemical, said that the strong partnerships with the regional players, access to low cost feedstocks, easy access to emerging markets, and valuable human resources are of the prime consideration, as global companies continue to expand in the Gulf region and maintain a positive outlook for the region. Attendees of the fourth forum agreed that this year event was exceptional in all dimensions, and voiced the hope that the fth annual forum will take place under better economic conditions.

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010


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Project Report 21

$9ben ct

Contax Project Snapshot:

Yanbu Export Refinery

proj

Kathlen Bury, Contax project manager, looks at progress of Yanbu Export Refinery (YER) GCC Context Despite the current economic climate, the total planned GCC energy Capex landscape for 2009 to 2011 continues to show promise with c.$421bn worth of investments on the table. The dominant sectors continue to include the petrochemical and rening sectors, with estimated Capex of c.$79bn and c.$70bn, respectively, already planned for award by the end of 2011. Saudi Arabia continues to support a project Capex position of c.34% worth of the investment planned within the GCC energy space by 2011. A major project that is expected to help Saudi Arabia achieve this goal is the Saudi Aramco/ConocoPhillips Yanbu Export Renery (YER).

Background and Strategic Importance Located within Yanbu 2, an extension of Yanbu Industrial City in the Western province of Saudi Arabia, on the coast of the Red Sea and at the end of the East-West Petroline, a Saudi Aramco-led JV is planning to build a agship 400,000bpd fully integrated grassroot export renery. In an effort to successfully develop and execute this project, Saudi Aramco has joined forces with the US’ ConocoPhillips under a current 50:50 JV partnership. Contax Partners understands that upon completion and operational start up, another JV company will be formed whereby each party will sell off a 15% stake in the renery to the Saudi public through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Saudi stock exchange. Since its announcement, the market has changed considerably and there was discussion around the project economics, viability and partner commitment

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However, with the award of the offsites and utilities package and imminent EPC submission date in January/February 2010 for the remaining packages, it is evident that the commitment behind this project still remains. With a currently estimated investment cost of c.$9-10bn, a c.50-65% increase over its original budget of $6bn, the renery will utilise heavy crude oil as feedstock. The majority of feedstock will be sourced from the nearby Manifa Offshore Oil Field, which is currently undergoing an 800-900,000bpd redevelopment programme. YER enables all involved stakeholders to satisfy a number of key strategic objectives: 1. Signicantly increase Saudi Arabia’s contribution to global rening capacity. 2. Enables Saudi Arabia to take advantage of the current price disadvantage on their Arabian Heavy Crude 3. Enables Saudi Aramco to maximise the existing value of its existing and new production activities and capitalise on synergies with international players. Key project details: Project Name:

Yanbu Export Refinery

Project Owners:

Saudi Aramco 50% : ConocoPhillips 50%

Status:

EPC Bid

Location:

Yanbu 2, Saudi Arabia

Feedstock:

Arabian heavy crude oil

Contractors

Consultant: WorleyParsons PMS: Kellogg Brown & Root FEED: Kellogg Brown & Root

EPC Award Date:

Q2 2010

Completion Date:

Q2 2014

Source: Contax Partners, December 2009

4. Enables ConocoPhillips to expand its manufacturing base through the gaining of access to competitively priced feedstock 5. Enables ConocoPhillips to strengthen its commitment to the Kingdom 6. Enables the creation of employment opportunities within the Western Province of Saudi Arabia.

Scope of Work The YER scope of work currently consists of 9 main packages including : coker block, crude block, gasoline block a hydrocracker. It also includes an offsites and utilities, solids handling, storage Tanks, an offsites pipelines and a relocation of NGL pipeline.

Challenges Contax Partners’ continuous analysis of the impact of the current market dynamics on GCC Energy Project Workload provides clients with clarity around which projects have a greater than 70%, between 40-70% and less than 40% probability of proceeding within the current economic climate and thus which sectors and countries will present the greatest opportunities. Following this analysis and the fact that the offsites and utilities package has already been awarded and the EPC submission dates for the remaining packages are expected within the next 2 months, Contax Partners believes that the YER project has a high probability of going ahead as planned.

Contax Partners Opinion: Likelihood of Project Realisation – High For more information and access to these reports, please contact marketing@contaxgroup.com

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010


22 Number Cruncher

Downstream Data

Most listed petrochemical companies saw share prices declining through December, as investors are aligning their positions to chase better opportunities LISTED COMPANIES IN THE SAUDI STOCK MARKET Price on Nov,19th (US$ per share)

Price on Dec,19th (US$ per share)

Change %

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC)

21.73

21.60

- 0.62

Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Company (SAFCO)

30.60

32.93

7.09

Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Company (Kayan)

4.92

4.79

- 2.79

Rabigh ReďŹ ning and Petrochemical Company (Petrorabigh)

9.97

9.33

- 6.86

Yanbu National Petrochemical Company (YANSAB)

8.45

7.92

- 6.73

National Industialization Company (TASNEE)

7.09

7.01

- 1.14

Saudi Industrial Investment Group (SIIG)

6.28

5.87

- 7.05

Saudi International Petrochemical Company (SIPCHEM)

6.09

5.97

- 2.01

Sahara Petrochemical Company (SAHARA)

5.28

5.31

0.50

Advanced Petrochemicals Company (Advanced)

6.64

6.37

- 4.18

Nama Chemicals Group (NAMA)

3.05

2.96

- 3.15

Alujain Corporation (ALUJAIN)

4.55

4.45

- 2.10

Methanol Chemicals Company (CHEMANOL)

4.27

4.07

- 4.92

Petrochem

4.48

4.29

- 4.35

LISTED COMPANIES IN THE KUWAITI STOCK MARKET Price on Nov,19th (US$ per share)

Price on Dec,19th (US$ per share)

Change %

Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (AL-QURAIN)

0.55

0.63

12.22

Boubyan Petrochemical Company (BOUBYAN)

1.35

1.51

10.47

Ikarus Petroleum Industries (IKARUS)

0.39

0.42

6.67

LISTED COMPANIES IN THE QATARI STOCK MARKET Price on Nov,19th (US$ per share) Industries Qatar

31.29

Price on Dec,19th (US$ per share) 31.87

Change % 1.81

LISTED COMPANIES IN THE OMANI STOCK MARKET Price on Nov,19th (US$ per share) Oman Chlorine S.A.O.G. (CHLORINE)

0.98

Price on Dec,19th (US$ per share) 0.92

Change % - 6.27

LISTED COMPANIES IN THE EGYPTIAN STOCK MARKET Price on Nov,19th (US$ per share)

Price on Dec,19th (US$ per share)

Change %

Abu qir Fertilizers

40.38

41.06

1.65

Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals Company

1.96

1.87

- 4.51

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010

www.arabianoilandgas.com


Number Cruncher 23

1150

BENZENE (FOB FAR EAST)

900

Benzene prices have stabilised above $900 per tonne during December, supported by the crude oil value which hovered above $70 per barrel throughout the month.

1050

800

950

700

US$/tonne

600

850

CFR: Cost and Freight

1250

12/12/09

07/11/09

11/10/09

15/09/09

17/08/09

20/07/09

23/06/09

27/05/09

29/04/09

01/04/09

12/12/09

07/11/09

11/10/09

15/09/09

17/08/09

20/07/09

23/06/09

27/05/09

29/04/09

01/04/09

550

04/03/09

300

04/02/09

650 07/01/09

400

04/03/09

750

500

04/02/09

US$/tonne

ETHYLENE (FOB FAR EAST)

07/01/09

1000

FOB: Freight On Board

1150

PPF (CFR FAR EAST)

PROPYLENE (FOB FAR EAST)

1050

1150

Ethylene prices reached their highest level for in 2009 last month, reaching $1100 per tonne backed by strong demand and improving of naphtha prices.

US$/tonne

US$/tonne

950 1050 950

MEG remained largely stable thanks to limited trading activities.

850 750

850

700 650

830

600

(HDPE Injection)

www.arabianoilandgas.com

12/12/09

07/11/09

11/10/09

15/09/09

17/08/09

20/07/09

23/06/09

27/05/09

29/04/09

04/03/09

04/02/09

07/01/09

01/04/09

12/12/09

07/11/09

11/10/09

15/09/09

20/07/09

23/06/09

27/05/09

29/04/09

01/04/09

17/08/09

12/12/09

07/11/09

11/10/09

15/09/09

17/08/09

12/12/09

07/11/09

11/10/09

15/09/09

17/08/09

20/07/09

23/06/09

27/05/09

29/04/09

01/04/09

04/03/09

04/02/09

760

07/01/09

860

20/07/09

960

23/06/09

1060

27/05/09

US$/tonne

1160

MEG

29/04/09

1260

900 850 800 750 700 650 600 550 500 450 400

01/04/09

HDPE (CFR FAR EAST)

04/03/09

12/12/09

07/11/09

11/10/09

15/09/09

17/08/09

20/07/09

23/06/09

350

27/05/09

580

29/04/09

400 01/04/09

630 04/03/09

450

04/02/09

680

1360

US$/tonne

500

04/03/09

730

(CRF FAR EAST)

550

04/02/09

780

Propylene maintained its level above $1000 per tonne supported by strong demand growth from users in China. Polyethylene hovered around $1240 per tonne as buying improved due to inventory replenishment in the US and Europe.

07/01/09

US$/tonne

880

NAPTHA

04/02/09

12/12/09

07/11/09

11/10/09

15/09/09

17/08/09

20/07/09

23/06/09

29/04/09

01/04/09

04/03/09

04/02/09

27/05/09

750

PVC (CFR FAR EAST)

07/01/09

US$/tonne

930

550

07/01/09

980

07/01/09

750

650

Polypropylene also stayed strong, keeping tis head above $1150 per tonne throughout December due to strengthening propylene feedstock prices across the board. PVC jumped above the $900 per tonne for the ďŹ rst time in nine weeks last month, as traders and producers concur that US supplies could tighten up substantially in 2010. Source: www.argaam.com

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010


24 Face to Face

MAKING A REGIONAL IMPACT Rob Meek, chief executive officer of Impact Solutions, explains that professional manpower is needed in order to get the best out of your technology What does your company provide to petrochemicals producers in the region? We offer three main types of service. The rst is manufacturing optimisation to increase efciencies to world-class standards. We are Europe-based, with over 30 years success across the petrochemicals and plastics industries. We help emerging industries, such as the petrochemicals and polymers sectors in the Middle East to operate at lower production costs and maximise protability. We achieve this by managing process improvement projects and also by training people to improve their individual contribution towards team objectives. In the UK, we are very rigorous and vigilant with quality and we are now bringing this to the Middle East.

What are your main offerings? While we don’t actually offer the technologies themselves, what we do provide is the expertise to fully utilise existing technology. Since the Middle East invests billions of dollars in these technologies, to get the return you expect, you must fully utilise your assets. We provide the expertise to ensure that people are trained to run these technologies at world-class standards.

What challenges are your operations facing in the region? Dealing with the rapid expansion here and the range of technologies that are in operation, so that we can identify with those

Petrochemicals Middle East January 2010

“WE ARE VERY RIGOROUS AND VIGILANT WITH QUALITY AND WE ARE NOW BRINGING THIS TO THE MIDDLE EAST” technologies fast in order to improve quality standards. We operate across the globe with a diverse range of people and abilities. We work across both the petrochemicals and plastics industry to align their needs. This for us is a big challenge because the big investments so far have been made in the upstream sector. Few countries are investing in downstream. For example, the conversion of plastic materials will catch up, so we are working on different models to use in Europe and the US.

Describe your company’s operations in the Middle East region? We are heavily involved in Saudi Arabia and have been working in the Kingdom for the last four years. We have also just started our operations in Oman and in Bahrain. In addition, we are looking to expand in Kuwait, Qatar and North Africa. Generally, we have a strong focus on the Middle East and North America. In the coming years, we will expand our model here in the Middle East and make an investment in the region through an ofce or a facility here, as we expand.

ROB MEEK CEO OF IMPACT SOLUTIONS

Who are your local clients? Our major clients include TASNEE Petrochemicals company from Saudi Arabia, Oman PP and a number of other regional companies, some of which prefer to not to be mentioned.

What’s your downstream pedigree? We started six years ago as a spin-off from BP Chemicals. My colleagues and I are very experienced in blue chip organisations. I spent 25 years in different parts of the world working for BP in the UK, China, USA, and many other parts of the globe. Many of my colleagues are the same as we all have backgrounds involving many big companies. The model in Europe is changing and the big oil and gas companies are moving to the Middle East and Asia. So we have been preparing to set this business up for the last six years, mainly in the UK, on big renery and petrochemical sites. We still operate there and continue to grow. We’ve been in the petrochemicals and plastics businesses for the best part of 30 years and in many cases a lot of these products are now being made in the Middle East.In terms of expertise, we developed the yellow gas pipelines in my country in 1979, so we know the product and the market. Even though we are not a big company and employ 20 staff, we have a lot of experience and are very specialized. Personally, I am an engineer by trade, while my other colleagues all have doctorates in their specialist elds.

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Petrochemicals Middle East - Jan 2010