(Adds details, comments from UAE minister)
DUBAI, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Petrochemicals production in the Gulf region could be worth $150 billion to $200 billion annually by 2020 up from $40 billion this year, the chief executive of state oil company Saudi Aramco [SDABO.UL] said on Wednesday.
“By 2020, the region’s petrochemical and chemical industry should grow five times. The current production at $40 billion should increase to reach $80 billion per year over the coming decade,” Khalid al-Falid said in a speech at a petrochemicals conference in Dubai.
“But I would like to see by 2020 production hitting $150 billion to $200 billion mark,” he said.
Gulf chemicals output meets up to 40 percent of Asia’s demand, Sheikh Lubna Bint Khalid al-Qasimi, the United Arab Emirates’ minister of foreign trade said in a speech at the conference.
“By 2015, there will be an additional nine crackers in the region, five from Saudi Arabia, one from Qatar, one in the United Arab Emirates and two from Iran,” Qasimi said.
She said 7 million tonnes of ethylene capacity will be added by 2015 which will account for 25 percent of the world’s total production.
Aramco completed last year a massive crude expansion programme which took its output capacity to 12 million barrels per day (bpd). It is now focusing on increasing gas production to cater for domestic demand for utilities and petrochemicals.
Aramco and its partners in petrochemicals joint ventures will soon announce progress on expansion plans for PetroRabigh 2380.SE, known as Phase II, and another petrochemical project with U.S. Dow Chemical DOW.N, Falih said.
Petrochemicals complex PetroRabigh is a venture between Japan's Sumitomo Chemical 4005.T and Aramco. The complex is integrated with a 400,000 bpd refinery and was part of Aramco's plans to build refinery-based petrochemical complexes across the kingdom.
Falih said the two complexes would include a number of new products which have never been produced in the Middle East, including metallocene-based elastomers, glycol ethers, solution polyethylene, MMA/PMMA (methyl methacryllate/poly methyl methacryllate), nylon and EP-rubber.
Petrochemicals output in the world’s top oil exporter is expected to reach 80 million tonnes per year in 2015 from 60 million tonnes in 2009, Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi said last year.[ID:nGEE5B80BD]
Saudi Basic Industries Corp 2010.SE (SABIC) alone plans to boost its petrochemicals production to 130 million tonnes by 2020, its chief executive officer, Mohammed al-Mady was quoted as saying last year. [ID:nGEE5B5029] (Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Erika Solomon; Writing by Reem Shamseddine; Editing by Sue Thomas)
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