By 2008, demand for polymers by Turkish processors will grow to approximately 4.7 million tonnes, and then 7 million tonnes by 2012, says A. Faruk Erkoc, chairman of Penta Petrokimya (Istanbul, Turkey), speaking at the recent Plast Pro 2005 conference in Dubai, U.A.E., conducted by Maack Business Services (Au, Switzerland).
Turkey faces the problem of not being able to meet this hunger for resin domestically and will continue to depend heavily on imports. However, Erkoc says he expects these to be coming increasingly from the Middle East instead of Europe or the North America.
Fahad S. Al-Sheaibi, president of the polymers group at Sabic (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), told the audience that his company has been in talks regarding a possible takeover of Turkey''s existing petrochemical business, Petkim (Izmir, Turkey), which the government has repeatedly tried to privatize without success. He admitted the company wants to continue its expansion beyond the Middle East and Northern Europe and is looking at other regions including Asia, North America, and possibly Turkey. No decision is expected in the short term, he said.
According to Erkoc, the county''s thermoplastics consumption is just under 30-kg/person, well behind Western Europe and North America, so the demand, along with a growing population and GDP growth of 8.9% for 2004, should spur plastics consumption, particularly in packaging. Total resin consumption last year was 2.8 million tonnes, of which only 716,000 tonnes could be met by local production. By the end of this year this figure should increase to 900,000 tonnes/yr, he says. Penta, which is a resin supplier and distributor, expects overall demand to remain at 10% annual growth through 2012.
Robert Colvin [email protected]