AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Abu Dhabi 2019 | ENERGY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Ahmed Omar Abdulla, CEO of Abu Dhabi Polymer Company Ltd (Borouge), on the impact of its new Borouge 4 plant, specialized solutions for global challenges, and the need to continue to invest in innovation.

hmed Omar Abdulla
BIOGRAPHY
Ahmed Omar Abdulla is the CEO of Abu Dhabi Polymers Company Limited (Borouge), a leading manufacturer of polyolefins based in Abu Dhabi since May 2016. He has spent his entire career with the ADNOC Group, having held senior positions in general, refining, supply chain, project, planning and technical, business support, and marketing management.

What will be the major impact of the new Borouge 4 plant at Ruwais as it approaches its FEED stage?

With the realization of Borouge 4, we will be able to grow our business together with that of our customers and deliver solutions that meet their expectations and address their challenges. This will lead to doubling our capacity of polymer production in Ruwais by 2025. The investments in Borouge 4 will also further strengthen our position as a leading provider of creative plastics solutions.

What does the recent shift of the hydrocarbon industry toward the downstream segment mean for Abu Dhabi?

Diversification is central to Abu Dhabi's economic strategy, as the Emirate plans to increase the contribution of non-oil sectors to its GDP. To achieve this, the industrial sector will play a vital role, especially the downstream business including petrochemicals and plastics industries, on which Abu Dhabi's strategic business development strategy is based. We will not only have the world's largest integrated refining and petrochemicals hub in Ruwais, where Borouge is a large player, supported by a huge investment of USD45 billion over the next five years; we will also support the development and diversification of the UAE's economy with increased FDI, new business and employment opportunities, and in-country value creation.

How do you expect demand for plastic solutions to evolve in the future?

The world today faces huge global challenges around carbon emissions, food, drinking water, and sanitation, and Borouge's role is to provide specialized solutions that positively contribute to addressing these challenges. We do this through strong collaboration and deep engagement with the value chain, including packaging, infrastructure energy, mobility, agriculture and medical solutions. We see the demand for plastics solutions in these markets growing, especially in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. We are investing further in the Borouge 4 plant and other expansion plans like the new PP5 unit in Ruwais and the compounding manufacturing plant (CMP) in Shanghai.

What is your assessment of the energy saving guidelines set by UAE Vision 2021 and Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030?

Reducing energy usage within our operations is a key aspect of our environmental stewardship and economic growth. Consequently, we seek to invest in innovation and improve our energy efficiency while monitoring our performance. Our direct and indirect energy consumption decreased by 5% and 7%, respectively, compared to 2016 levels. In addition, we managed to reduce our total energy consumption, both direct and indirect, by 5%, which reflects the successful implementation of the different energy efficiency initiatives this year. We also managed to take another step toward our 2021 target of reducing our total energy consumption by 14% per ton produced as we achieved a reduction of 9%.

How can the oil and gas industry remain ahead of the technological innovation curve and gain benefits across its whole value chain?

We must keep investing in innovation and research to ensure we have the right technology in place so that our operations are safe for people and the environment. We must also be more efficient in the way they are operated with regards to energy, feedstock, and handling. Digitalization and AI have the potential to create tremendous value for both industry and society. Digitalization promotes new energy sources and carriers, as well as innovative models for the optimization and marketing of energy. Developments in technologies such as social media, big data, and analytics are driving trends that have immense potential for oil and gas. New digital technologies combined with data-driven insights can transform operations, boosting agility and strategic decision-making. Integrated digital platforms can enhance collaboration among different participants in the oil and gas ecosystem, in addition to accelerating innovation, reducing costs, and increasing transparency.