Gulf plastics

15 February 2009

The six key figures leading the development of the region’s plastics industry - Abdulaziz Abdulla al-Hajri, Malcolm Wall Morris, Ahmad al-Ohali, Maha Hussain, Gholamhossein Nejabat and Charlie Crew.

Abdulaziz Abdulla al-Hajri

Position: Chief executive officer (CEO), Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge)
Biography: Abdulaziz Abdulla al-Hajri is leading Abu Dhabi’s venture into the petrochemicals and polymers market. Al-Hajri was appointed CEO of Borouge in October 2007, taking over from Harri Bucht, who had served the company as CEO since 2002. Prior to joining Borouge 18 months ago, Al-Hajri was assistant general manager (technical) at Abu Dhabi Gas Industries’ (Gasco). Al-Hajri has more than two decades’ operational experience with Gasco. Under his leadership, Borouge has made significant investments to increase its production capacity. A second facility is due to come on line in 2010, tripling existing polymer production capacity to 2 million tonnes a year (t/y). Plans are also being drawn up for a third-phase expansion, taking total capacity to 4.5 million t/y of polyolefins by 2013. Al-Hajri has a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Texas, US.
Contact Tel: (+971) 2607 0300

Malcolm Wall Morris

Position: CEO, Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX)
Biography: Malcolm Wall Morris is a commodity and derivatives expert. He joined the DGCX as CEO in November 2007, having previously been head of business development, commodity products, at Liffe, the derivatives business of NYSE-Euronext. Morris’s strategic objective is to lead the DGCX into its next stage of growth, and he will oversee the future launch of the region’s first polypropylene and linear low-density polyethylene futures contracts for the Middle East and Southeast Asian markets. His role at the DGCX is to ensure it consolidates its position as the leading derivatives exchange in the region. In his first year as CEO, Morris spearheaded the launch of crude oil futures contracts, which became the most successful product launch in the exchange’s history, achieving record-breaking volumes in the first three months of trading.
Contact Tel: (+971) 4361 1616

Ahmad al-Ohali

Position: President & CEO, Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem)
Biography: Ahmad al-Ohali was instrumental in setting up joint stock company Sipchem, which is now the largest private petrochemicals company in Saudi Arabia. Sipchem is able to produce more than 1 million tonnes a year (t/y) of methanol and 75,000 t/y of butanediol, with a new acetyl complex being built. Al-Ohali assumed the position of executive president upon Sipchem’s incorporation in 1999, and is now its CEO and president. Al-Ohali majored in chemical engineering at Saudi Arabia’s King Fahad University of Petroleum & Minerals. Following his graduation, he progressed through the ranks of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), beginning his career at Sabic manufacturing affiliate National Methanol Company. In 1996, Al-Ohali left Sabic to launch medium-sized, private industries in the film and plastics fields.
Contact Tel: (+966) 1472 4115.

Maha Hussain

Position: Chairwoman, Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC)
Biography: Maha Hussain was appointed chairwoman and managing director of Kuwait’s PIC in 2007, having previously held the position of deputy managing director of planning and joint ventures since November 2001. Hussain is also chairwoman of Equate Petrochemical Company, a joint venture of PIC, the US’ Dow Chemical and the local Boubyan Petrochemical Company. As chairwoman, Hussain will oversee the company’s future investment in olefins and aromatics. Hussain was instrumental in finalising an agreement with Dow Chemical to create a $15bn joint venture, K-Dow, although the deal was scrapped on 29 December when PIC walked away amid mounting internal political pressures. Hussain joined PIC as a chemical engineer in 1976, after graduating from the University of California in the US.
Contact Tel: (+965) 321 1132

Gholamhossein Nejabat

Position: Managing director, National Petrochemical Company (NPC)
Biography: Gholamhossein Nejabat was appointed managing director of state-owned NPC in 2006. He is also Iran’s deputy minister for petroleum. An industry veteran with expertise in project development, most recently as head of Tehran-based Petrochemical Industries Design Equipment & Parts Manufacturing Company (Pidemco), he came out of retirement to replace Asghar Ebrahimi-Asl, who had occupied the top post for just nine months. With 25 years’ experience in Iran’s petrochemicals sector, Nejabat is known for his expertise in project development and contract negotiations. At the time of his appointment, Iran’s contractors welcomed the news after a year of near paralysis in the country’s projects sector. Nejabat headed NPC’s tendering arm, Petrochemical Industries Development Management Company (Pidmco), during the 1990s.
Contact Tel: (+988) 805 9760

Charlie Crew

Position: President and CEO, Sabic Innovative Plastics
Biography: Following Sabic’s $11.6bn acquisition of the US’ GE Plastics in 2007, Charlie Crew was promoted to president and CEO of the newly formed Sabic Innovative Plastics. Crew joined GE Plastics in 1977 as an account manager and sales representative. He now leads the engineering thermoplastics business with more than 10,500 employees. Speaking after Crew’s appointment, Mohammed al-Mady, CEO of Sabic, described him as “a seasoned executive with more than 30 years’ experience in the plastics business”. Crew previously served as vice-president and general manager of the GE Advanced Materials Specialty compounds brand portfolio. He has led European operations as president and senior managing director of GE Plastics Europe, Middle East and Africa, and was also vice-president and general manager of commercial operations for GE Plastics Americas.
Contact Tel: (+413) 448 7110

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