Gulf corrosion bill seen at $15bn
Manama, February 4, 2008
Corrosion costs billions of dollars a year with recent estimates suggesting that the Gulf region alone has to foot a bill for $10 billion to $15 billion a year.
That is the challenge facing the 12th Middle East Corrosion Conference, which began today at the Gulf International Convention Centre.
The event was officially opened last night (Sunday) at a gala dinner by Works and Housing minister Fahmi Al Jowder, who is in charge of the electricity and water authority.
It has attracted more than 550 delegates and key international speakers as well as more than 30 exhibitors.
Speaking at the dinner, Bahrain Society of Engineers president Mohammed Khalil Al Sayed, who are organising the event along with Nace International, described corrosion as one of the most serious problems in modern society.
'The economic cost of corrosion and the damage it causes is astronomical,' he said.
'Metallic corrosion costs the US nearly $350 billion a year, approximately three per cent of its gross domestic product.
'In the Gulf region the cost is between $10 billion and $15 billion a year and studies suggest that 40 per cent of corrosion could be avoided through the application of existing technologies such as corrosion resistant materials, improvement in the application of corrosion prevention practices and investment in corrosion related services.'
'This conference brings together some of the best experts in corrosion and many delegates, who are battling corrosion in the field to share knowledge and experience and to promote a better awareness of the issues underlying the corrosion problem,' he added.
'We trust that this conference will provide the required platform for the transfer of knowledge and experience and the advancement of corrosion science and engineering.'
Saudi Aramco vice-president of engineering services Essam Al Bayat said that with the oil industry expanding both through new mega projects and upgrades his company was responding to the problem of corrosion which cost the industry billions of dollars a year.
'We support new and emerging technologies which are expected to generate major economic benefits to Saudi Aramco and will support our competitive posture in core functions,' he said.
'One example is non-metalic materials. Our vision in this areas is to expand and promote the use of cost-effective non-metalic products to reduce corrosion costs.
He said that one of the company's tactical objectives was to expand the operation of non-metalic materials and make a transition to utilise these materials in hydrocarbon services.
Welcoming the delegates, conference chairman Dr Faisal Al Faqeer said the conference has always provided an outstanding platform for professionals to effectively interact, share knowledge and discuss issues related to al aspects of material engineering and corrosion control.-TradeArabia News Service