The Gulf’s petrochemicals producers will have added almost 50 million tonnes a year (t/y) of new petrochemicals production capacity between 2009 and 2015, equalling the market share of the US and Europe, says the head of region’s largest industry group.

Speaking at MEED’s Middle East Petrochemicals 2010 conference in Abu Dhabi on 8 June Abdulwahab al-Sadoun, secretary general, Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association said that total petrochemicals output would rise to 153.2 million t/y from 105.7 million t/y currently, an increase of 44.9 per cent.

Massive capacity additions in the Gulf will see the region increase its overall share of global production, he said. It currently accounts for 16 per cent of the world’s petrochemicals production. This will grow to 20 per cent by 2015, al-Sadoun said.

Asia, which currently accounts for 31 per cent of global production will also increase its share, to 36 per cent by 2015 from 31 per cent currently while North America and Europe, traditionally the dominant centres of production will see their influence waning, with their shares falling from 25 per cent to 20 per cent and 23 per cent to 20 per cent respectively.

“This [capacity addition] is phenomenal considering the short timeframe,” he said. “It will make the region, along with Asia, the centre of gravity for the petrochemicals industry.”