Annual petrochemical production in Gulf countries is expected to rise by 46% to 155 million tons a year by 2015, up from 105 million tons at present, according a report by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA).
The region's current petrochemical production represents 16% of the total 700 million tons worldwide, but this is expected to rise to 20% by 2015.
GPCA said the capacity expansion requires an investment to the tune of $55bn over the next five years.
The production of petrochemicals in the region is growing at an compound annual growth rate of 12%, GPCA said.
It is estimated that by 2015, the region's output of polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC and polystyrene will double to reach more than 23.6 million tons, compared to last year's output of 13.5 million tons.