Petrochemical and chemical industries in the Gulf region have an obligation to embrace sustainability principles in order to comply with carbon neutrality goals championed by GCC governments, a key official of OQ Group has stressed.

Hilal al Kharusi, Chief Executive, Commercial & Downstream, OQ, made the assertion at a gathering of high-level executives of leading companies representing the mammoth petrochemical and chemical industry distributed across the Gulf region.

The event, held recently in Muscat was organised by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), a 250-member strong industry grouping that serves as the voice of the region’s petrochemical and chemicals industry. Focusing on the theme, ‘Bracing for Change: GCC Chemicals in 2023 & Beyond’, the event attracted industry 78 leaders from nine countries.

In opening remarks, Al Kharusi highlighted the importance of carbon neutrality as a key sustainability goal for the wider industry. “We must embrace the energy transition and look for ways to make our operations more sustainable. This means exploring new technologies, such as carbon capture and utilization, investing in renewable energy sources, and innovation,” he said.

“The petrochemical and chemical industries have an important role to play in supporting the circular economy. This means developing products that are recyclable, reducing waste and emissions, and exploring new ways to use waste streams as raw materials,” Al Kharusi further added.

OQ Group, the global integrated energy group of the Sultanate of Oman, is one of five Oman-based companies represented as members of Dubai-headquartered GPCA. Also taking part in the Muscat forum was Najla al Jamali, Chief Executive Alternative Energy, OQ. She participated in the session titled, ‘Pathways for transformation and the transition to net-zero’.

Oman’s hosting of the GPCA Leaders Forum is seen as a testament to the country’s growing prominence in the region as a current hub for petrochemicals production, and a future destination for green hydrogen production. In its capacity as the government’s National Champion, OQ is overseeing the implementation of green energy projects worth tens of billions of dollars in partnership with leading international developers and investors over the coming years.

OQ is also forging ahead with its vision to set up a multi-billion dollar petrochemicals complex downstream of the new Duqm Refinery that is slated to be operational later this year. To this end, OQ signed a Project Development Agreement (PDA) last December with Saudi chemicals giant SABIC and Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) to support the implementation of a jointly owned complex in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD). The three companies aim to establish a petrochemical complex consisting of a steam cracker and derivative units and a natural gas liquid (NGL) extraction facility.

Further to support the growth of a circular economy downstream of its Liwa Plastics complex in Sohar Port, OQ is developing a Polymer Park utilizing locally produced polymer as feedstock. Formally known as Ladayn Polymer Park, the new plastics-focused manufacturing hub is being established at Sohar Industrial City in partnership with the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn).

Covering an area of 1 million sq metres, Ladayn is dedicated to the manufacture of semi-finished and finished high value-added plastic products targeted at the healthcare, food packaging, construction and agriculture sectors.

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