By Andy Sambidge
Chemical giant looks to cut costs but not at expense of growth in region, CEO says.
Chemical giant Dow on Friday pledged its commitment to its many Middle East projects, despite admitting it is having to cut costs amid the current global financial crisis.
Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company said the company, which has eight current or proposed joint ventures in the region, would not cut spending at the expense of growth.
And Liveris insisted it was still fully committed to implementing its massive petrochemical project at Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia with Saudi Aramco, which is currently undergoing detailed feasibility and engineering studies, and will start construction in 2010. He added: “While we are indeed making a number of reductions in our cost structure as part of our transformational strategy, an equally important element of that strategy is our commitment that we will not cut spending at the expense of growth.
“We will continue to fund our growth projects such as those we’ve announced in Kuwait, Oman, Libya and Saudi Arabia. We will continue to fund R&D spending to drive innovation and we will continue to drive growth in our basic products by investing in projects in advantaged locations and creating joint ventures with strategic partners,” added Liveris.
Over the last few years, Dow has initiated several projects in the Middle East, such as the Olefins II project in Kuwait, the Sohar project in Oman, Ras Lanuf petrochemical joint venture in Libya, and the recently announced launch of K-Dow Petrochemicals with its partner, PIC of Kuwait.
With annual sales of $54 billion and 46,000 employees worldwide, Dow is a diversified chemical company that operates in around 160 countries.