Organizers of the 13th ArabPlast 2017 have said that the chemicals industry of the GCC is the region’s second largest within the manufacturing sector, creating over 500,000 direct and indirect jobs and $108 billion worth of products in 2015.
These figures were highlighted at a press conference held in Sofitel Dubai Downtown, today (Tuesday, 3rd January 2017) to raise the curtain on ArabPlast 2017, the region’s leading trade show for the plastics industry that will kick off on (Sunday, 8 January) and continue for three days until (Tuesday, 10 January) in Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Organizers of the premiere regional plastics show added that the UAE and Saudi Arabia had 13.7m tons/year and 98.5m tons/year of petrochemical capacity respectively in 2016, according to the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), and combined, hold 74% of the chemicals portfolio of the Arabian Gulf.
This edition of the show is supported by Borouge, a leading provider of innovative, value creating plastics solutions (Principal Sponsor) and Tasnee (Platinum Sponsor). ArabPlast is among the top rated specialized shows of machinery worldwide and No. 1 trade show in the Middle East in the volume of machinery on display.
The press conference was addressed by Satish Khanna, General Manager, Hazeem Sultan Al Suwaidi, Senior Vice President Regional Middle East Africa and Exports at Borouge, and Hassan Al-Ahmadi, VP - BU Chemicals and Polymers - TASNEE.
Satish Khanna explained: “It is a great pleasure to announce the 2017 edition of the biennial ArabPlast exhibition along with our partners. Borouge has been a prime supporter of ArabPlast over the years and continues to play an instrumental role in the growth and development of this regional tradeshow. The event will take place over an exhibiting area of more than 9 halls.
Hazeem Sultan Al Suwaidi, SVP Regional MEAE, Borouge, said, “Borouge is committed to continue supporting this strategic event which underscores the UAE’s growing role and importance in the regional and global petrochemicals and plastics industry. This is in line with Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030 which identified downstream businesses as major contributors to the economy.”
Al Suwaidi added, “This year, Borouge is participating in ArabPlast under the theme of ‘Together We Innovate’, to demonstrate to the world how Borouge is using innovation and technology to add value throughout the value chain and increase its contribution to Abu Dhabi, to the sector and to the wider UAE. At ArabPlast 2017, we are exhibiting a range of our sustainable and innovative solutions that cater to different industries including infrastructure, energy, packaging, agriculture and healthcare. We have also arranged machinery demonstrations using our material to show visitors, first hand, our pellets being transformed into different applications.”
ArabPlast is the MENA’s premier show and one of the biggest three global events dedicated to plastics, petrochemicals and rubber industries. It brings together exhibitors, experts and industrials from the GCC region and all over the world.
Being one of the biggest industrial companies locally and regionally, Tasnee is sponsoring ArabPlast 2017 at a time it has added to its portfolio of products a new set including acrylic acid compound such as butyl Acrylate, butanol and polymers, thus enhancing the company's capabilities and increasing its global competitiveness.
This comes within Tasnee’s quest to diversify the production base of the national economy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, being one of the biggest local companies aiming to achieve the Kingdom’s 2030 vision to transform Saudi Arabia to an industrial giant in the world.
Exhibitors will display the latest technology solutions related to extrusion, injection, molding, chemicals and others, along with their industrial applications in packaging, construction, medical and agriculture fields, automobile sector among others.
The European plastics market reached a volume of more than 53 million tonnes in 2014, and sales are expected to rise at average growth rates of 2.9% p.a. to about €104 billion in 2022, according to the market research company Ceresana.
Khanna added: “Germany will take part in ArabPlast 2017 with 278 exhibitors. The country is indeed the largest manufacturer of plastics in Europe. Belgium ranks second, followed by France, Russia, the Netherlands, and Spain. The three dominating application areas for plastics are flexible packaging, rigid packaging and the construction industry, but also the transportation and "electrical and electronics" segments.”
In terms of quantity, extrusion is the most important process in the plastics industry: More than 114 million tonnes of plastics are processed with this method worldwide every year. Both flexible as well as rigid objects that can be compact or cellular can be produced with extrusion.
According to the market research company Ceresana, about 51% of the plastics used for extrusion in 2015 were used in the region Asia-Pacific; North America and Western Europe followed with market shares of 15.5% and 13.2%.
Khanna added: “Injection molding is one of the most important processing methods in the plastics industry: Every year, almost 55 million tones of plastics are processed worldwide to almost any kind of molded part. In 2015, about 54% of the plastics used for injection molding were consumed in the region Asia-Pacific; North America and Western Europe followed with market shares of 15.4% and 14.3%. The most important sales market for injection molded products is the packaging industry which mainly protects food.”
“The global market for bioplastics has currently revenues of more than USD 2.6 billion with the use of 'green' plastics. This trend is awaited to become more significant as the use of such green materials provides a positive image for consumers and help in reducing CO2 emissions. I would mention in this sense that Starlinger, one of the exhibitors at ArabPlast 2017 will be presenting the new generation of 'bottle-to-bag' woven plastic packaging solutions,” Khanna added.
“Concerning the fertilizers, their market value is likely to rise to more than USD 185 billion until 2019. Especially that many countries in Europe and America are obliged to produce energy from renewable sources, like sugar in Brazil, palm oil, corn or rapseed. The need for biofuel will increase the fertilizers production,” Khanna said.
Khanna highlighted the main role of this sector in supporting the economic diversification and providing big opportunities for local corporations and foreign investment in the GCC region.
“Investments in plastics and petrochemical sector are indeed defying the current global market conditions. The Gulf petrochemicals industry continues to be the world's largest producer and exporter to more than 150 countries worldwide,” he added.
“ArabPlast 2017 will allow bringing the required improvements and awaited efficient responses to the regional industrials needs in term of technology and knowledge,” concluded Khanna.