Dubai, United Arab Emirates; August, 2015: With a production capacity of 40.9 million tons, the Arabian Gulf’s fertilizer capacity has grown by 102% since 2004, according to the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA).
“Rising from relatively humble beginnings, the GCC’s fertilizer industry has seen remarkable growth in the last ten years, earning US$6.5 billion in revenues in 2014,” said Dr. Abdulwahab Al- Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA. “This export oriented industry supplies valuable products to farmers all around the world, improving food security in Asia, India and Europe and thereby solidifying trade relations between the Arabian Gulf producers and its diverse markets.”
With a production capacity of 17.2 million tons and 10.7 million tons respectively, Saudi Arabia and Qatar lead fertilizer production in the region.
“With the launch of Safco 5 this year, notable for possessing one of the world’s largest carbon capture units, and Maaden’s Waad Al Shamal phosphates facility in 2016, Saudi fertilizers will continue to see much dynamism in the near future,” continued Dr. Al- Sadoun.
Qatar is the largest urea producer in the region, manufacturing 37% of the GCC’s production of this commodity. Additionally, QAFCO operates the largest single site ammonia and urea production plant.
Looking ahead, the GCC’s fertilizer manufacturers can look into diversifying their product portfolio to include specialty fertilizers, advises the GPCA. To date, only 396,000 tons of specialty fertilizers are currently produced in the GCC.
“Specialty fertilizers have unique qualities that define them against urea or diammonium phosphate fertilizers,” explained Dr. Al- Sadoun. “It is these innovative characteristics that yield a higher return in the global marketplace and therefore result in greater returns for the producer and the good news is that the UAE has already demonstrated that it can manufacture this valuable product.”
The topic of innovation will be a key focus at the upcoming GPCA Fertilizer Convention. Held of the theme of “Innovating for growth: Ensuring an efficient, sustainable future”, the conference will shed light on how the GCC’s fertilizer industry can contribute to global food security while embracing an environmentally sustainable future.
The Fertilizer Indicators report will be released at the GPCA Fertilizer Convention. Now in its 6th edition, the conference will be held in Dubai from September 14- 16.