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Petrochem Arabia, one of Saudi Arabia's leading downstream, oil and gas conferences and exhibitions, is set to focus on and announce key growth opportunities for Saudi Arabia's conversion industries.

The strong start to the year for the downstream industry in the Middle East looks set to continue with development projects being regularly announced, financed and completed.

Saudi Arabia in particular has been accelerating expansion of the petrochemical sector with more than $20billion-worth of projects currently being tendered.

Whilst petrochemical production continues to dominate, the emergence of local petrochemical convertors within the region will play a key role in the development of the industry within the coming years.

The conference, which is titled "Creating Value Downstream", will feature key convertor organisations throughout the programme such as National Industrial Cluster Development Programme (NICDP) and NAPCO.

Azzam Shalabi, President of NICDP, will speak about encouraging private sector investment in downstream industries and representing NAPCO will be Dr. Hanna Saad, Executive Vice President for Flexible Plastics Division who comments, "Growth opportunities in the plastic conversion sector in KSA are huge as cost comparative advantages are clear, starting by feedstock and energy,"

Dr. Saad continues: "Petrochem Arabia is important as it gives both the resin producers and the conversion sector the opportunity to interact intelligently and end up operating in partnership as one value chain rather than supplier - customer," he added.

With SAOGE (the Oil & Gas exhibition) being postponed until October 2012, Petrochem Arabia is this year's meeting place for both the upstream and downstream sectors in the Eastern Province; the hub of the energy sector for the Middle East.

Petrochem Arabia is sponsored by the Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu, Petro Rabigh, ABB, ExxonMobil and Al Jomaih Holding Co.