Middle East Producers Emerge as Strong
Competitors in Downstream Polyester Markets
by Philippa Davies, Gillian Tweddle and Darrel Collier, Tecnon OrbiChem Limited
Over the past 25 years, the Middle East has become established as the preferred source of high volume, low-cost gas feedstock based, export orientated, olefin derivative products: polyethylene, polypropylene, MEG, PVC, polystyrene.
The most recent and ongoing phase of investments, however, has seen companies, old and new, diversify into products that take advantage of increased availability of liquid and aromatics feeds and also recognise growing domestic consumer demand within the region.
At the same time, there has also been a growing tendency amongst Middle East producers to invest in production outside the region, in acquisitions in Europe and North America and in joint venture projects in China, in order to access markets, gain expertise and diversify into highly specialised chemicals arenas.