Muscat: The production capacity of the GCC's fertiliser industry is set to rise 47 per cent to 46.4 million tonnes by 2018, due to $10 billion worth of projects in the pipeline, according to estimates by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA).
In 2012, GPCA estimated that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) fertiliser production capacity reached 31.4 million tonnes.
Demand for gas is soaring across the GCC as it is widely used to generate electricity. Both the UAE and Oman have key LNG import contracts, which help the development of the region's downstream industry.
Gas production is also increasing in Qatar and Saudi Arabia further bolstering GCC fertiliser production. The region's fertiliser capacity is expected to grow at an average of 10 per cent over the next five years. In comparison, the global fertiliser demand will grow just 1.8 per cent every year till 2017.
Greenhouse gas emissions
However, Dr Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, secretary-general of GPCA, advised that environmental conservation and social responsibility will be key elements to consider while fertiliser companies strive to maximise profits.
Several regional producers have already implemented strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, recover carbon dioxide and reduce water consumption. "Faced with constraints in the supply of natural gas, the GCC fertiliser industry is actively pursuing a number of projects to optimise energy and water resources, as well as the conservation of natural resources," said Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, secretary-general of GPCA, on the final day of the fourth annual GPCA Fertiliser Convention.
This year's convention comprised 24 commercial and technical presentations and 25 industry experts speaking on key topics affecting the GCC, the Americas, China, India and Africa. The GCC's fertiliser industry is a cost leader and must continue to improve its cost-leadership in order to retain its global competitiveness, Dr Al Sadoun added.
As the GCC continues to pursue its renewable energy targets, analysts have predicted that the region's fertiliser industry will gain an edge by providing an alternative solution to feedstock challenges.