Sabic Conference 2020

Al Shaikh ... the conference's scope has been expanded

Al Shaikh ... the conference's scope has been expanded

Sabic Conference expands scope to include other top firms

The 13th edition of the previously Sabic Technical Conference will allow participants keep pace with the rapid technological advancements, learn and share knowledge to meet the challenges of the future

More than 10,000 people and around 400 companies from over 40 countries are expected to participate at Sabic Conference 2020 being held from February 16-20 at the King Abdallah Cultural Centre in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia.

Spread over an area of 32,000 sq m, the 13th edition of the biennial event is the place to be to hear about the latest news and updates of the industry and Chemistry 4.0—the latest evolution in the chemical industry, says Ahmed Al Shaikh, Executive Vice-President, Manufacturing at Sabic.

The event will be inaugurated by His Royal Highness Prince Saud bin Nayef Al Saud, Governor of Eastern Province.

Officials at the previous edition

Sabic Conference 2020 evolves from the earlier Sabic Technical Meeting (STM), later called Sabic Technical Conference (STC), hosted by Sabic for more than two decades.

'Over the years, the conference has provided an opportunity for Sabic’s global stakeholders to share knowledge, experiences, and achievements in innovation,' says Al Shaikh.

The theme of Sabic Conference 2020 is Chemistry 4.0, the fourth phase in the chemical industry that reflects a new era of development, where digitalisation, circular economy, sustainability and innovation are the key characteristics.

The first phase, or Chemistry 1.0, centered on industrialisation and coal chemistry; Chemistry 2.0 on petro-chemistry; and Chemistry 3.0 on globalisation and specialisation.

The biennial STM series was first held in December 1994. Since then, it has brought together an impressive lineup of global and local CEOs, heads of manufacturing companies, scientists, researchers, chemists, engineers and technical experts to share their experiences and further build on their capabilities. STM-11 in 2014 marked the 20th year of the STM series.

'In 2016, the 12th edition was renamed Sabic Technical Conference, building on its strong reputation as an effective platform for collaborative technology and innovation. And now, Sabic Conference 2020 promises to take up key issues that would help shape the future of the chemical industry,' says Al Shaikh.

Technology and innovation have not only become an essential element within Sabic, but it is part of a growing culture among Saudi Arabia's well-recognised companies.

Saudi dignitaries and other officials at the previous edition, then called Sabic

Technical Conference

'That is why we have expanded the scope of the conference this year to also include other top-performing companies in the kingdom, thus helping them to contribute to the successful achievement of Saudi Vision 2030.

'For the first time this year, the conference will be open to other leading companies in Saudi Arabia to present papers,' says Al Shaikh.

'Together, we will help identify promising future technologies and avenues to support downstream development in Saudi Arabia, address community interests, and meet sustainability needs – thus contributing to the successful achievement of Saudi Vision 2030,' he adds.

Al Shaikh says the response from the participants has been very enthusiastic and they are expecting a presentation of a range of innovative ideas and products through workshops, papers, presentations and exhibits.

He adds: 'All the previous editions have touched on cutting-edge technologies and best practices. We are expecting a similar outcome this year as a number of detailed technical papers and technology advancements will be presented at the conference as well as the exhibition.'

He says the conference will help participants keep pace with the rapid technological advancements and allow them to learn and share knowledge to meet the challenges of the future. It will provide a unique platform for bringing together global talents and bright minds in manufacturing and technology.

'We have had a diverse mix of participants and sponsors in the previous editions of the conference. They included local and global CEOs, heads of manufacturing companies, scientists, researchers, chemists, engineers and technical experts. They have been largely appreciative of these events, which have helped them leverage theoretical and practical knowledge related to manufacturing as well as research and development,' adds Al Shaikh.

Al Shaikh says the conference has over the years built a reputation for being a showcase for state-of-the-art technical and innovative knowhow, expertise, and creativity. 'It has been a forum for positive interaction and constructive debate on a wide range of topics, from environmental protection, safety and health, plant reliability management, quality assurance, unit operations, technology and sustainability. The cumulative knowledge and best practices that we shared in these forums helped address key sustainability challenges of tomorrow.'

As with every industry, the ability to innovate is critical for identifying better ways of doing things and meeting business goals in the chemical industry as well. Thus technology as a whole, including AI, is key to the advancement of the petrochemicals industry. This includes the petrochemicals sector in all GCC countries.

'That is why Sabic lays strong emphasis on technology through its 21 state-of-the-art technology and innovation centres spread across the world. We are maintaining our pace of investments in innovation to develop differentiated technology platforms in support of our existing operations, improve our plants and drive our business forward,' says Al Shaikh.

In this context, Sabic Conference 2020 will deal with various challenges that affect industrial development and which can be addressed through the application of innovative technologies, says Al Shaikh.

Sabic Conference 2020 will have exhibitors from diverse business backgrounds

Meanwhile, for business, the potential advantages of the conference can be gauged from the key subjects being discussed at the event. These include Digitalisation, Technology Development and Improvement, Plant Reliability Management, Electrical and Control Systems, Sustainability, Environment Protection, Safety and Health, Quality Assurance and Analytical Technology, and Business Development, Management, Quality Systems, and Information Technology.

'With the conference offering an opportunity to the participants to exchange experiences and communicate on the latest innovations and technologies, it would help innovators and investors make key decisions on pressing technology issues that are relevant to business,' he adds.

Also, this year’s lineup of exhibitors come from diverse business backgrounds such as industrial services and control systems, technical services, plant maintenance, information technology, and asset optimisation software. Exhibitors and visitors will have several networking opportunities to explore new businesses.


This edition of Sabic Conference presents a unique platform for all heavy machine companies around the world to demonstrate their equipment to their target audience at the Machinery Show, which takes place at the exhibition hall facade.

Commenting on the companies being able to deliver a truly smart energy infrastructure, Al Shaikh says: 'As far as Sabic is concerned, we have been taking initiatives and developing technologies to promote sustainable development that include energy efficiency solutions for buildings, transportation weight-reduction solutions, renewable energy initiatives, energy and resource efficiency, and other solutions for various industries and fields.

'Our clean energy initiatives are aimed at bringing sustainable benefits to societies. Our carbon dioxide capturing and purification plant in Jubail is an example of our commitment to energy and sustainability issues.'

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