The World Future Energy Summit (WFES) held in Abu Dhabi in January, provided a rare but welcome platform for the region’s refining and petrochemical equipment and service providers to showcase their environmental message and ethos.Although the event was dominated by the renewable energy providers, such a gathering brought home the important issues of water management and efficient refining operations which have come to the fore of an increasingly energy conscious industry in the Middle East.
The running costs of a plant, and the environmental footprint petrochemical and plastics manufacturing create are weighty issues that every responsible CEO will have close to his heart. Petrochemicals producers are often portrayed as a villains and eco-nightmares, but important steps are being taken by the industry across the region. Indeed, in January the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) unveiled industry veteran Tahir Jamal Qadir as the Lead Responsible Care Coordinator for the Association. This is an excellent step in the right direction.
The appointment follows the recent signing of an agreement between the GPCA and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) to establish a Responsible Care program for the region’s petrochemical and chemical industry. The deal marks a major step forward in implementing GPCA’s ambitious plans to ensure that the regional industry adopts uniform world-class environment, health and safety practices. The Responsible Care ethic is the petrochemicals industry’s foundation for a sustainable future. WFES was also a place for local producers to show that they are willing to adopt new technologies and commit to greener operations. So, my golden rule for those who are serving the petrochemical industry is to intensify your investments in driving energy efficiency products, as it will no doubt become the goose that lays the golden egg.
Abdelghani Henni is the editor of Petrochemicals Middle East.