The Downstream oil industry within the Middle East region is developing at a rapid pace as new technologies emerge and new global markets open up. With Saudi Arabia and UAE having the largest number of plastic converter companies, there is immense potential in new product development and applications with regards to polymers, resins that in turn demands advanced machineries and technologies. This makes Gulf Plastics and Polymers Show (GPPS), taking place in Abu Dhabi on the 8 – 10 September 2015, the ideal place to take advantage of the market potentials.Currently polymer sales within the GCC stand at US$23.8 billion and this is growing at an annual rate of more than 20 per cent, which demonstrates the sheer scale of the industry within the region and the market potential for suppliers looking at conducting business within the GCC.
Over the next five years, the number of polymer products produced within the GCC will double and by 2018 the total polymers capacity within the GCC is expected to reach 35.9 million tons. During the same period, 11.3 million tons of additional polymer capacity will come on stream and 22 per cent of this will be from new products.
Commenting on current industry trends, Alex Heuff, Exhibition Director at Fleming Gulf Exhibitions, organiser of GPPS, notes “The industry is gradually under more and more pressure to reduce the environmental impact of the final products and to increase the use of biodegradable materials. We all know that there has been a worldwide drive and government initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase recycling. Consumers are becoming more environmentally friendly and conscious of recycling so the industry needs to react to these trends. Development of bio-plastics and plant-based polymers is therefore becoming one of the leading priorities for the industry in regards of sustainability”.Sustainability and bioplastics and the technology around making bio-plastics are a more attractive proposition over the more traditional fossil fuel and chemical based polymers. The shift from fossil fuel based polymers to plant based polymers, which are more sustainable and environmentally friendly, is an area the industry is exploring. However, the
costs involved in the development of plant-based polymers are higher than the relatively cheaper costs for fossil fuel polymers. Heuff comments “There is definitely a need for further improvements in the manufacturing process to reduce the costs and allow bioplastics to become more mainstream. Nevertheless this issue should be looked at from an environmental angle, meaning a bigger investment now will pay off in healthier and more sustainable surroundings in the future.”To keep pace with the regions growing demands, the regions most anticipated show for the plastics and polymers industry, GPPS, will be held in the capital of the UAE – Abu Dhabi – and is officially supported by The Royal Comission for Jubail & Yanbu, The Gulf Plastics Pipe Academy, Society of Plastics Engineers, Egyptian Plastic Exporters & Manufacturers Association, The Organization of Plastics Processors of india, Pagder association and AmCham Abu Dhabi. The exhibition will run from 8–10 September 2015 at the impressive and dedicated exhibition venue of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition
Centre (ADNEC), with the mission of bringing together plastic raw materials, machinery,equipment and finished goods under one roof. The show will also focus on the sustainable, bio-degradable plastics, to cater for the growing demand of this side of the industry. GPPS will attract global participation from India, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia,USA, UK, Italy, Germany,Taiwan, China, UAE and many more.
To ensure that GPPS covers the needs of the vast market, the show is split into seven dedicated product zones: Plastic Converters; Machinery, Lab and Control Equipment; Polymers and Materials; Printing Solutions; 3D Printing; Recycling; and Plastics Products for Packaging and piping.
Speaking about the expectations of the show, Heuff comments: "We are expecting our exhibitors to be showcasing the latest technologies and solutions to help our visitors – i.e. buyers – improve their manufacturing capabilities and increase their output. Through our seminars, workshops, panel and round-table discussions, over two days conference the exhibitors also have the opportunity to speak to a captive audience, educating the market on the latest trends. We are expecting some of the technologies to focus on how to make second and third generation cellulose conversion from non-food crops such as horn husks, grass and wood to become more economical. Other technology areas would focus on selective dissolution and the splitting of the resins into recyclable plastics.” GPPS conference has confirmed speakers from Royal Commission of Jubail and Yanbu; Green Kingdom Industries; RAKTherm; Saudi Plastic Factory; Almarai; Saudi Paxxal; DuPont; ICIS; Altea Packaging; GPPA; Dhahran Techno-Valley Company; Tasnee; Al Thika Packaging and Essel Propack.
With the bulk of the GCC's polymers being commodity plastics, GPPS expects a fair proportion of the audience to come from consumer packaging. However, as the industry is so vast within the region, visitors are also expected from: construction, industrial packaging, textiles, consumer goods, agriculture, automotive, appliances, electrical and medical. Mr Heuff adds, "Our exhibitors can expect to meet with both C-Level decision making professionals, distributors, trader, consultants and agents as well as the more technical and specialist chemical professionals from around the region."