The GCC is well positioned to lead the energy transition, said industry leaders at the16th Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) Forum, which got underway today (December 6) in Saudi capital Riyadh.



The two-day forum, being held at the Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences, was inaugurated by Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saudi.



Hosted by global petrochemical giant Sabic, this year’s forum is being held under the theme ‘Chemistry in Action: Shaping a Sustainable Future.’



“The GCC is the land of opportunity, the land of the ambitious and the home of the determined,” he told delegates in his inaugural address today, emphasizing the role of local talent in shaping a sustainable future.



The forum was also attended by Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Minister of Energy, Qatar, and Bader Al Mulla, Oil Minister, Kuwait.



Speaking at the forum, industry leaders said the Arabian Gulf region was well positioned to take the lead in the energy transition through clean hydrogen development and strong policy support.



The region is well placed to capitalize on the opportunities afforded by its vast material resources, its modern infrastructure and technological know-how in order to lead the way on our path to a more sustainable future, they stated.



As a key enabler of this transition, the chemical industry must embrace opportunities for integration with the upstream oil and gas industry and collaborate across the value chain to drive a new type of economy – the Circular Economy.



This will require new solutions and concerted action to “circularize” value chains and develop regulations and standards that support recycling, they added.



Engineer Abdulrahman Al Fageeh, the Chairman of GPCA, and Sabic CEO, delivered the welcome remarks.



“The chemical industry has always managed to overcome the challenges it faced. The key to our success is by seizing every opportunity that challenges bring. Through such action, the GCC can shape a sustainable future,” stated Al Fageeh.



In his keynote address, Saudi Aramco President & CEO Amin Nasser said “The chemical industry needs to strengthen and accelerate its innovation efforts to develop more durable and more sustainable materials, at scale, while reducing their cost."



"Establishing an advanced materials center, here in the Kingdom, could strengthen and complement existing programs and push the boundaries of innovation through global collaboration," he added.



In the second keynote, Dr Martin Brudermuller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF and President, CEFIC, addressed BASF’s transformation journey to a carbon neutral and circular future.



GPCA Secretary General Dr Abdulwahab Al Sadoun said the chemical industry had set itself an ambitious target to achieve net zero by 2050, while still delivering everything the modern world needs.



"This will not be an easy task, but the GCC chemical industry is well placed to capitalise on the clean energy transition and grow its investment in the circular economy and hydrogen development. To get on track with the Net Zero Scenario, both the private and public sectors will need to achieve technological innovation, efficiency gains and higher recycling rates," stated Al Sadoun.



The opening day provided an excellent opportunity for senior industry leaders and government officials to come together and share insight into the challenges and solutions they both face in their common goal to drive regional growth, while protecting the environment.



"We look forward to the next two days at the forum when we will hear from leading speakers on some of the most vital issues impacting the industry today," he stated.



As part of the forum’s programme, the industry captains recognized Yousef Al Benyan, Minister of Education, Saudi Arabia for his service as Chairman of GPCA (2016 – 2022) and for his contributions to the association.



Another key highlight was the inaugural GPCA Youth Forum held under the theme ‘For The Youth. By The Youth."



The two-day event will see GPCA host its inaugural symposium under the slogan “Delivering our Plastics Circularity Ambitions” to showcase the efforts of the plastic industry in enabling a more sustainable and circular future.’

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