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Kuwait ‘petrochemicals’ sector braces for growth KPIC implementing 2002/2020 development strategy

 KUWAIT CITY, Aug 20, (KUNA): Kuwait’s petrochemical sector has an opportunity to grow, thanks to the increasing global demand especially from the emerging Asian markets mainly India and China, a specialized economic report forecasted Wednesday. China and India are currently undergoing a rapid urban development which is expected to the increase the urban communities’ population by at least 50 percent by 2020, the report, issued by Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz), stated. It went on to say that this will lead to a rapid surge in the demand for petrochemical products like plastics and polymers. Citing data released by the Gulf Union for Petrochemicals and Chemicals, Markaz report added that Kuwait will increase its production capacity in the petrochemical sector from 3.4 million metric tons in 2012 to 7.9 million metric tons in 2015 to meet the growing global demand.


The report noted that Kuwait’s petrochemical sector had faced many problems in the past years due to lower global demand, particularly during the peak of the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. It, however, said that the petrochemicals sector started recovering after 2010. Despite the growth opportunities, Kuwait’s petrochemical sector is facing huge challenges and obstacles including the fierce competition petrochemical sectors in the GCC region, especially in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which grabbed 75.2 percent of the total revenue of the petrochemical industry in 2012, Markaz report disclosed.
It pointed out that Kuwait’s Petrochemical Industries Company is implementing the 2002/2020 development strategy to develop this petrochemical sector locally as well as launching joint petrochemical ventures in major markets such as India and China.
Moreover, the Kuwaiti government started in 2010 the implementation of a law allowing foreign direct investment by 100 percent which is expected to attract foreign investors and encourage private sector companies to enter the petrochemical industry, which is now mainly financed by the government. The report said that the list of major projects that the Petrochemical Industries Company is working on is world-scale Olefins complex located in Shuaiba industrial zone, with estimated to cost of seven billion dollars, and is expected to start operation next year. The PIC and Chinese energy giant Sinopec are building a refinery and petrochemical complex in Guangdong province in China, the report disclosed, adding that the project is expected to begin operation in 2017. The report estimated the cost of the PIC’s petrochemical projects in Kuwait during the period 2011-2017 at a total of about USD 7.5 billion.

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