Jeddah – MENA Herald: The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) celebrated its 10th anniversary last week, marking a decade of networking, thought leadership and advocacy for the downstream hydrocarbons industry in the Arabian Gulf.
Since the inception of the association in 2006, the GCC’s petrochemical capacity has more than doubled from 65.8 million tons, to 142.5 million tons in 2015. The GPCA, meanwhile, has grown from 8 founding members, to 250 members in the same period.
“Over the last decade, the GPCA has emerged from a humble organization with a vision, to the leading voice of the petrochemical industry that encourages the GCC downstream industry to be more transparent, responsible and collaborative,” said Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA. “The expansion of our events, depth of thought leadership studies and breadth of our membership are a reflection of the potential of this industry to be major contributor in the Arabian Gulf’s drive towards economic diversification.”
GPCA celebrated its anniversary with an exclusive invitation-only event for its members which hosted a panel with former Ministers H.E. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Chairman of the Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah International Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development and Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar; and H.E. Eng. Abdulaziz Al-Zamil, Former Minister of Industry and Electricity, Saudi Arabia and Former Vice Chairman and CEO, SABIC. The two former Ministers shared their memories on the extraordinary entrepreneurs who created a new industrial pillar for the economies of the countries in the Arabian Gulf region.
A second panel about a decade of achievements by GPCA hosted Dr. Abdulrahman Jawahery, President, GPIC, and Dr. Moayyed Al-Qurtas, Chairman of the GPCA Research & Innovation Committee and former CEO of TASNEE. Both were members of GPCA’s first Board of Directors.
Dr. Jawahery and Dr. Al-Qurtas highlighted that a key milestone for the GPCA occurred in 2009, when the association signed on to Responsible Care, a global benchmark for the chemical industry that aligns, audits and enforces best practice in health, environmental performance and security. Since then, all 35 full members have signed on to this worldwide agreement.
“Accords like Responsible Care ensure that the chemical industry is not only accountable for their operations and output, but also communicates with their key stakeholders, be it government, regulatory authorities, and even wider communities. This framework is the way forward for the downstream sector and we are proud to be recognized by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) as one of the top performing associations globally for our implementation of the Responsible Care charter” explained Dr. Al-Sadoun. “The success of this initiative, and the GPCA as a whole, would not have been possible without the unwavering support of our eight founding members, to which we owe our deepest gratitude.”
Along with a busy calendar of conferences that cover plastics, fertilizers, petrochemicals supply chain, research and innovation and sustainability, the GPCA also publishes reports and studies that provide information on capacity, revenues, trade and employment.
“With wide-ranging reports and the members-only petrochemical database, we have developed a comprehensive impression of where the downstream industry was, where it is currently, and where it will go,” continued Dr. Al-Sadoun. “We hope that our reporting structure encourages our members to record their operations, so that people not only understand the importance of this industry, but also to make them more accountable to stakeholders. The values of accountability, openness and responsibility foster trust, which is a crucial step that will drive the chemical industry onwards and upwards.”