6 April 2011

First GPCA Plastics Innovation Awards – winners announced

'GPCA Plastics Innovation Awards 2011' recognises advancement in the field of plastics with a positive impact on society

Mohamed Al-Mady, Chairman of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) and SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO, honoured winners of the first GPCA Plastics Innovation Awards 2011 at a ceremony held last night at the Intercontinental Hotel in Festival City, Dubai. The inaugural awards were sponsored by TASNEE.

The GPCA instituted the award this year to encourage innovation in the plastics industry and honour companies which have achieved excellence in this field along with talented individuals. The winners this year contributed significantly to the sustainable development and innovation in the field of plastics.

Green Vision KSA won the award in the Plastic Products category for their innovative and eco-friendly turf system that has been developed locally to replace real grass in regions affected by droughts. The new product offers an authentic grass look and is developed using less energy and less raw material than comparative products. The Jury highlighted the unique position of the product in the region and also globally through an entire and in detail developed system.

Zamil Plastics, also from KSA, won the award in the Processing and Conversion category, for converting plastic parts to metal parts. Zamil plastics have developed a holistic system to convert non-plastic parts to plastic parts to improve cost position for customers. A wide range of injection molding possibilities allows many different plastic products with different properties. The Jury emphasized the complete process opening wide opportunities for the user to reduce costs by converting their products to plastic.

Taghleef Industries from Dubai won the award in the Plastics and Environment category, for its BOPLA sustainable packaging film. The new packaging film solution for the flower industry is made of poly lactic acid (PLA) resins, which is a bio-plastic, obtained from the fermentation of sugars contained in various kinds of plants. Besides using 100% renewable raw materials, PLA is also fully biodegradable.

Thanks to the advantages of PLA instead of traditional films, the BOPLA film allows to achieve the same performance in terms of product presentation and protection compared to conventionally used films, whilst contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions. Once composted, the bunch of flowers wrapped with Taghleef’s BOPLA film will become a fertilizer to grow new plants. The Jury was impressed about the entire development and commercialization on a big volume scale.

Dr. Mohammed Naser S. Alghamdi and Krishna Prasad Rajan, both from Yanbu Industrial College, KSA, won the award in the Talents in Plastics category along with US$5,000 in prize money for their development of environment friendly, completely bio-degradable bio composites materials based on date-palm fibre. Their research on understanding the rheology of biodegradable fibers in both type of matrices, thermoplastic resin as well as biodegradable plastic, helps to design bio composites. Their achievement will bring new bio composites much faster into a commercialized status. The Jury was impressed with the results of the scientists’ research work on date palm fibres reinforced plastics.

Al-Mady expressed his happiness over the success of the new award, especially the quality of the entries received immediately after the competition was announced. He pointed out that the works submitted by the companies and individuals confirm the ability of the people of the region to innovate. He expected a marked increase in the number of entries in the coming years.

Dr. Moayyed I. Al Qurtas, Vice Chairman and CEO, TASNEE and Chairman of the GPCA Plastics Committee, said, “Plastic is a fascinating and versatile product that can take any shape or texture. The only limit is our capacity to innovate. We would like to encourage and tap into our innovative resources to the benefit of the people. We believe the GPCA Plastics Innovation Awards is the right step to motivate further innovation.”

Waleed Al Hammad, G.M. of TASNEE Marketing, said, “We are happy to be associated with these awards as the sponsors. At TASNEE, we focus on innovation as a key area for serving our customers.”

Thanking the Board and the Chairman of the Board of GPCA, as well as the Jury for evaluating the winners objectively, Dr. Abdul Wahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General of GPCA, said, “It is a delight and pleasure to see this level of gathering, coming together, to recognise those who have done innovative work. This event is a reflection of our commitment to those who have genuinely invested in innovation. The Awards ceremony is in line with the GPCA’s key strategic objective to promote best practices among members. It marks the beginning of a journey that recognises those who are innovative in the industry and investing heavily to be ahead of the rest.”

The high-profile Jury that deliberated and selected the winners through a secret vote were Dr. Moayyed I. Al-Qurtas, Vice Chairman and CEO, Tasnee; Mr. Moyyad Al Faresi, Business Director, Polyethylene, EQUATE Petrochemical Co.; Mr. Laurence Jones, Vice President / Corporate Support, Borouge; Dr. Mitchell Killeen, Senior Director, LyondellBasell ; Ms. Lyn Tattum, Publisher, Chemical Week; Dr. Raed Al-Zubi, CEO, Radius Systems, President of SPE, ME; Dr. Ulrich Reiners, MD, Executive Packaging; and Dr. Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA

About the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association
Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) is the first such association to represent the interests of the industry in the Middle East and it has brought a major dimension to its task by creating both a forum for discussion and a place where likeminded people can meet and share concepts and ideas. Since its inception in March 2006, the GPCA has earned the enviable reputation for steering the regional industry towards a whole new level of co-operation and raising the standard in terms of common ground interests.

As the regions’ Petrochemicals and Chemicals Industry’s most respected representative body, GPCA will continue its efforts to enhance the role of the region in international debate and policy making while always ensuring that its doors are always open to its members and it acts as a catalyst for focusing attention on matters on issues relevant to the industry.

GPCA’s mission is singular and specific in that it intends to support the growth and sustainable development of the petrochemical and chemical industries in the Gulf in partnership with its members and stakeholders and be both a sounding board and a meeting point for debate and discussion.

Source: Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association, press release, 2011-04-06.

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