Kuwait’s petrochem capacity grows at 16%

KUWAIT: The Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA) has released 2011 data which show that Kuwait’s petrochemicals capacity grew at 16% compound annual growth rate between 2007 and 2011 to reach 7.6 million tons last year. According to latest GPCA data available, petrochemicals and chemicals exports accounted for 48% of Kuwait’s non-oil export value in 2010.

This is an increase of 66% from 2009 data. Volume wise the share of petrochemicals and chemicals exports in 2010 reached 61% or 3.9 million tons. Compared to the export volume in the previous year this is an increase of 38%. “GCC petrochemicals sector is continuing to demonstrate strong growth in spite of challenging market conditions, especially deepening economic woes in Europe and other key markets.

The GPCA annual data provide a comprehensive overview of the major sector developments in each of the Gulf states, and we are happy to announce its latest findings which are vital indicators of the performance of the regional petrochemicals market,” said Dr Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General of the GPCA. He added: “We are optimistic about the coming year and aim to overcome uncertainties about the future growth through continued focus on technology, innovation and long-term partnerships.” The findings show that Kuwait petrochemicals sector employed 5,622 people in 2011, representing 7% of the total number of employees in the GCC petrochemicals sector and 5% of the workforce in the Kuwait’s manufacturing sector.

The workforce nationalization process in the country’s petrochemical sector picked up considerable momentum reaching 26% in 2011, compared to 7% achieved in the manufacturing sector. Growth of nationals in Kuwait’s petrochemicals sector at 4% was actually double the employment growth recorded in the petrochemicals sector. Meanwhile, the GPCA data show that petrochemicals capacity is continuing to expand in the GCC. Regional capacity grew by 10% last year, reaching 121 million tons per annum, according to the report. Between 2007 and 2011 regional petrochemicals capacity expanded at 13% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR). Petrochemicals accounted for 43% of GCC’s non-oil export value in 2011, registering 33% growth over 2010.

Quoting the National Statistical Departments of GCC States, the GPCA data says chemical and related products exported from the GCC equaled $44.7 billion. The data show that while the contribution of petrochemicals sector to the GCC GDP in 2011 was just 1.5%, the sector represented the fast growing part of the regional economy, creating additional jobs on yearly basis. In fact, employment in the sector grew by 15% over 2010 and reached 79,255 employees.

The number of GCC nationals employed in the petrochemical sector grew by 11% last year, totalling 34,564 citizens. According to the GPCA data, contribution of petrochemicals was quite significant in the manufacturing sector, accounting for 17% of the manufacturing GDP in 2011. Besides, the GCC petrochemicals sector accounted for 6% of the total manufacturing workforce last year.

In the case of Kuwait, petrochemicals sector contributed 0.49% to its GDP in 2011 as the country’s Real GDP grew 8.2% in 2011 over the previous year. Petrochemicals sector accounted for 10.6% of the manufacturing sector’s contribution to Kuwait GDP in 2011, according to GPCA data.

Kuwait Times 2013, Jan 05 2013