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ME TECH 2016 to highlight the role of technology in navigating the downturn successfully

As persistent low oil prices take their toll on both industry profits and spending projections, downstream operators are turning to technology

The 6th edition of the Middle East Technology Forum (ME-TECH) for Refining & Petrochemicals, organised by Euro Petroleum Consultants, is set to highlight how technology can help downstream players in the Middle East to navigate the downturn successfully.

“As persistent low oil prices take their toll on both industry profits and spending projections, downstream operators are turning, in part, to technology and innovation to reduce costs and increase capital efficiency in the short-term,” said Colin Chapman, president of EPC.  The event, which takes place from 14th-16th February at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, will shine a light on the current situation facing the petrochemical and refining sector in the region which is worth over USD 200 billion, and represents 13% of the world’s petrochemical output and 11% of the global capacity growth. 

While the Middle East petrochemicals sector has witnessed massive expansion plans in the last few years, the refining sector in the region is also booming, with a number of refineries under construction to meet the growing local consumption mainly in Saudi Arabia, in addition to upgrading existing ones through the deployment of new technologies to meet international standards equivalent to Euro V standards.  “The current refining overcapacity/lower demand scenario will hurt not only Middle East and Asia refiners but also the global refining industry,” said Chapman. “That’s why Middle East downstream players should be innovative in the way the face this situation,” he added.

Amid the current steep market fluctuation, experts recommend that a key imperative in the Middle East region is to consider integration of refining and petrochemical assets to increase the value-add and move downstream to capture arbitrages between unfinished and finished products. 

Timing and technology selection are critical for success of integration, say experts. “As prices and margins have always fluctuated, the key is to continue to plan for the medium to longer term while investing in more efficient technologies and processes,” said Sultan Chatila, Marketing Director, Honeywell UOP. 

Discussion during the event will centre around how the newly adopted technologies are helping companies to operate more efficiently, as choosing state of the art technology in the right configuration to optimise processing the right molecules will enable operators to maximise their IRR and project NPV even in the most challenging environments. 

The event will feature four plenary sessions along with parallel sessions covering refining and petrochemicals separately. “ME-TECH is the perfect place for operators and technology providers to be, in order to learn how to improve margins and remain competitive during the downturn,” said Chapman. “The variety of topics and presentations during the event is clear indication that this event is a must attend conference,” he added. Keynote speakers will represent major national and international producers including Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation (KNPC), Sadara Chemical Company, SABIC, Takreer, Liwa Plastics Industries Complex, ExxonMobil and Shell Global Solutions, in addition to major services and technology providers. 

ME-TECH 2016 will also feature two workshops on 14 February, hosted by ExxonMobil and UOP. The first workshop will be under the theme of “Understanding Lube Base Stocks and Pathways to Production” and will cover a broad range of topics for industry producers. “Attendees can expect to gain a better understanding of base stock fundamentals, significant trends in supply and demand, different routes for production and the latest technologies for producing high quality base stocks.  Additionally, case studies based on real-world situations would be provided,” said Sylvain Hantzer, global licensing manager for lubes, ExxonMobil Catalysts & Licensing. The second workshop, hosted by UOP, will cover the theme of “Navigating the Dynamic Refining and Petrochemical Industries”, highlighting a variety of topics including using unconventional feedstocks to meet new global demand for high value products, naphtha as the key to refining and petrochemical integration, in addition to the new trends in refining and petrochemical integration, energy efficiency, among many other topics. 

The event will offer attendees an excellent opportunity for networking with industry peers, and to learn about major technology trends that may benefit operators.

For more information about ME-TECH 2016 please visit www.me-tech.biz or email office@europetro-me.com


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