Saudi Arabia’s Chemical Market Witnessing Rapid Momentum

“KSA Set to Become Strategic Global Hub for Expanding Industry,” says SAGIA; SAP Launches Centre of Excellence to Support KSA’s Chemical Companies

RIYADH, Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaIt is estimated that by 2015, five of the world’s top ten chemical producers will be from Saudi Arabia, illustrating the rapid growth and development in this market, say industry analysts.

“Enhanced supply from new refineries and increased investment in differentiated chemicals are transforming Saudi Arabia’s petrochemicals sector, which accounts for the largest non-oil sector in the Kingdom. This, coupled with a strong drive to diversify the economy and move towards value-added downstream products will strengthen the Kingdom’s position as a strategic global hub for the expanding chemical industry. The country’s prime location on key global trade routes along with several other competitive advantages will significantly reduce the cost of doing business in this critical and growing global industry,” said Omar Al-Madhi, Vice President of Energy, Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA).

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is among the fastest-growing regions for manufacturing petrochemicals and downstream products. There are many reasons that account for this: government investment, favorable feedstock situation, close proximity to the emerging economies of the Asia- Pacific-Japan region, including China and India, and rising populations.

“With population growth comes burgeoning domestic demand for downstream materials used in the production of consumer products and building and construction materials. To thrive in this promising but challenging market operational excellence is paramount. SAP is supporting regional chemical companies in driving operational excellence and helping them to become best run businesses through establishing a Center of Excellence as a regional hub for collaboration on best practices,” said Don Mahoney, Vice President of SAP’s Chemical Industry Business Unit, who met with Saudi officials today.

To support this flourishing market, leading business software provider, SAP, yesterday launched the Center of Excellence for the Chemicals Industry that offers members a unique combination of business tools that includes preconfigured software supporting industry-specific best practices, along with regional consulting services and a regional collaboration hub for communication and innovation.

“94% of the top 50 global chemical companies – and more than 2,600 in all – run SAP applications and with the insight this brings, we are committed to supporting the MENA region in becoming highly-efficient chemical producers to rival anywhere else in the world. A key aim for SAP is to serve as a trusted advisor for companies in this region, leveraging deep experience gained through its global leadership in chemicals to make every company a best-run business,” said Abdul-Raheem Bawazeer, Managing Director, SAP, KSA.

“Since its entrance into Saudi Arabia late in 2007, SAP has more than quadrupled its initial investment and number of employees in the country making it into the top one hundred investors in Saudi Arabia. Integrating its offerings with one of the main pillars of the Saudi economy further strengthens its presence and added value for the national economy,” said Ahmad A. Al-Yamani, Chief Technology Officer, Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA).

Along with regional partners, the local SAP team is building the center of excellence to guide and support companies located in the KSA and the wider MENA region in growing their businesses and optimizing their operations. SAP partners combine regional and global expertise in the chemical and petrochemical industry with deep experience in SAP business solutions and technology. This experience encompasses implementation, application hosting, and business process definition. Together with SAP consulting, training, and value engineering teams, these partners make sure that mutual customers in this region can count on best-in-class solutions and support.

Pivotal in this offering is the SAP Business All-in-One for Chemicals solution, which is based on the SAP ERP application, combining the methodology, documentation, and pre-configuration of the SAP Best Practices for chemicals package with consulting expertise. This approach gives companies what they need to install the software and implement business processes exactly the way they require, minimizing risk and reducing implementation time and costs.