Local governments in the Middle East are showing mounting interest in converting polymers into products for export and local consumption to meet growing demand, according to several sources that monitor the plastics industry.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), a net importer of most plastics products, has been weighed down by a weakening dollar and faces double-digit inflation amid a massive construction boom. A UAE quasi-governmental agency is building a 4.1-km2 “polymer park” that will include room for 60 plastics processors, a technical center, and a 350,000-m2 business park. Construction on the site will be completed by the end of 2008, with operations commencing in quarter-1, 2009.
Processors will manufacturer products mainly for domestic consumption, including pipe, wire and cable, geomembrane films, and rotomolded and blowmolded tanks.
The 2030 UAE master plan calls for the investment of $175 billion (U.S.) in industrial development in the next 10 years, with a new port planned for 2010–2011.