Kuwaiti state-owned Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) expects an annual 46pct increase in its production capacity after new strategic projects set for 2030 are completed, according to a senior employee.
The company plans to expand its production from 8.2 million tonnes to 12 million tonnes a year in the olefins, aromatics and specialty chemical sectors as "growth in these sectors will continue in the coming years, and a number of strategic projects have been targeted for execution until 2030," director of comprehensive planning, Nasser Al-Enezi, told the company's in-house magazine.
It is also keen to discover new investment opportunities to expand upon its production of petrochemical products, namely urea, ammonia, methanol, polypropylene, polyethylene, ethylene glycol, paraxylene, benzene and styrene.
This strategy is being approached on three fronts, building new projects in and out of Kuwait which depend on raw materials, or what is known as feedstock (natural gas in this case), taking over petrochemical companies abroad and integration between the company's foreign and local-based activities.
Newly-assumed projects include the locally-based Olefins III project, the Aromatics Complex II project, a planned Olefins IV project and an integrated refinery and petrochemical project in China.
The company is doing its best to complete the two home-based Olefins III and Aromatics Complex II projects with the support of parent company Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC).
On competition in the global market, he said that "there will be many changes which will aid drawing up the future of petrochemicals globally." The most fundamental of these will be the levels of expected supply of shale gas from North America in the coming years and how the global market will react to this.
This is in light of the continent's production and competitive capacity when taking into account the decreasing production of gas in the Gulf region amid a new global shift towards liquefied petroleum gases (LPGs) like naphtha, propane and butane.