The number of delegates attending the convention rose to 294 this year, a 43 % rise on delegate numbers at the same event in 2012, reflecting the increasing interest in the region's fertilizer market. The vast majority of delegates were producers, suppliers and distributors. "I am delighted with the high level of support and interest shown in this key event. The growth in delegate numbers is testament to the increasing importance of the GCC's fertilizer industry and the challenges it faces going forward," Al Sadoun said. As the GCC continues to pursue its renewable energy targets, analysts have predicted that the region's fertilizer industry will gain a competitive edge by providing an alternative solution to feedstock challenges. "Diversification of the energy mix towards renewables leaves hydrocarbons free for petrochemicals. Currently, power generation takes up a lot of gas demand but if renewable technologies are introduced into the GCC, this might help the petrochemicals and fertilizer industries as it gives them access to feedstock," said Kevin Breen, a consultant at CRU. During the convention, GPCA issued the co-branded report, Global Fertilizer Trends - Opportunities and Challenges for GCC Fertilizer Producers, in collaboration with Nexant. The report covers topics such as fertilizer feedstock dynamics, consumption trends and fertilizer supply and trade.