Why petrochemical industry is called sunrise industry?

Why petrochemical industry is called sunrise industry?

Ever wondered why petrochemical industry is called sunrise industry? The term was coined to represent the fast-growing businesses that embrace promising futures due to consumers’ mounting demand. In addition to petrochemicals, the term refers to other blooming industries like food processing, space tourism, and online encyclopedias. The urging need for petrochemicals and byproducts has indisputably qualified it to be dubbed the “Sunrise Industry.”

Why did scientists create petrochemicals?

The petrochemical industry has significantly evolved. Throughout the past 150 years, refining non-renewable energy sources has massively evolved and acquired resilient features to competently survive world wars, economic recessions, and 180-degree shifts in consumer behavior. With the rise of the industrial revolution, dependency on petroleum and natural gas has surpassed, limiting them to powering factories and warming/lighting houses. R&D activities thrived, and scientists strived hard to meet end-user’s insatiable demand for products by optimizing the utilization of fossil fuels. Then, new businesses emerged, feeding on the freshly discovered chemicals, namely petrochemicals. From plastics, pesticides, and fertilizers to fibers, paints, detergents, and cosmetics, petrochemical products have generously assisted unfamiliar commodities – back then – to bloom and transform into indispensable merchandise we daily use today.


What are petrochemicals made of?

Petrochemicals are hydrocarbons made of fossil fuels, natural gas, and biomass. Through oil refineries and natural gas processing units, primary, intermediate, and final petrochemical products are manufactured to serve a myriad of end-user commodities.

Looking at the petrochemical industry over the past 8 decades, not only did petrochemicals replace traditional raw materials, but they have also surpassed meeting clients’ demand by introducing additional alternatives that are more cost-effective and durable. The novel choices offered by the downstream industries helped further businesses arise, and innovative final products were catered over the years. Accordingly, the inauguration of refineries has sporadically spread across the globe, and the world’s countries fiercely competed to subsidize this lucrative industry.

Why petrochemical industry is called sunrise industry?
Egypt possesses 10 efficiently operating refineries and mulls, establishing 5 major petrochemical facilities worth US$14bn.


Did you know that Egypt owns the largest share of refineries in the African continent?

In The Present Time …

According to the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), Egypt currently owns 10 operating refineries nationwide of its petrochemical industry, which are:

  • Nasr Petroleum Company (NPC).
  • Alexandria Petroleum Company (APC).
  • Middle East Oil Refinery (MIDOR).
  • Amreya Petroleum Refining Company (APRC).
  • Assiut Oil Refining Company (ASORC).
  • Suez Oil Processing Company (SOPC).
  • Cairo Oil Refining Company (CORC) – Mostorod (Al-Qalyubia)
  • Cairo Oil Refining Company (CORC) – Tanta.
  • Alexandria Mineral Oils Company (AMOC).
  • Alexandria National Refining and Petrochemicals Company (ANRPC).

The Forthcoming Opportunities …

The upcoming years hold a prosperous future for the petrochemical industry in Egypt, with 5 projected state-of-the-art downstream facilities to be implemented, with a total investment cost of US$14bn. The proposed projects are:

  • Middle East Oil Refinery (MIDOR) Expansion.
  • Red Sea National Refining and Petrochemicals Company.
  • The Assiut National Oil Processing Company (ANOPC).
  • Suez Oil Processing Company (SOPC)’s New Asphalt Unit.
  • Suez Oil Processing Company (SOPC)’s New Coking and Diesel Production Unit.

In addition to the State’s sincere endeavors in promoting The National Petrochemicals Master Plan, the private sector is also keen on implementing cutting-edge facilities to double the Egyptian downstream exports and contribute to the national economic growth. Powered by the wealthy heritage of ACE Moharram. Bakhoum, Anchorage Investments is currently setting the solid foundation for Anchor Benitoite as its avant-garde petrochemicals affiliate. With a vision to transform Egypt into a regional hub, Anchor Benitoite has successfully allied with world-class partners like Honeywell UOP and Lummus Technology to produce an array of high-end intermediates, and final petrochemical products like Propylene, Polypropylene, Crude Acrylic Acid, N-Butanol, and Butyl Acrylate. Projected to come on stream by the 4th quarter of 2026, Anchor Benitoite shall provide 1.75 Million T/Y intermediates, natural gas derivatives, and final petrochemical products.

Petrochemical industry challenges…

The most serious challenge that hinders the petrochemical industry’s growth is the volatility of oil prices. Being immensely affected by unforeseen global events like recessions, pandemics, and wars, the fluctuating rates of non-renewables hamper the projected evolution of the petrochemical industry. Nevertheless, the unceasing demand for downstream feedstock to establish dynamic industries like construction, automotive, and plastics has always succeeded in compensating for such turbulence.

Can petrochemicals be recycled?

The Petrochemical industry‘s sustainability is growing stronger by the day. Biomass feedstock is widely used, and stringent environmental standards have been long adopted to mitigate GHGs and CO2 emissions. Plastics, being the major petrochemical final product, are becoming more recyclable, with the industry introducing PETG/PETE (Symbol 1), HDPE (Symbol 2), and PP (Symbol 5) as green alternatives to non-biodegradable plastics.

Global and international conventions have been frequently held to address the industry’s forthcoming opportunities and challenges, the most recent of which is the Petrochemicals Sustainability Conference (PSC) 2022. Organized by The Malaysian Petrochemicals Association (MPA), while gathering 50 thought leaders, 500 participants, and 50 exhibitors under one roof to tackle key climate change-related topics, PSC intrigued key industry stakeholders to navigate the transition towards net-zero carbon emissions.

To conclude, the proper response to why petrochemical industry is called sunrise industry resides in the tremendous progress witnessed during the past 5 decades. Thanks to its enlightened ecosystem, uniting well-rounded producers, consumers, academic institutes, policymakers, NGOs, and stakeholders, the petrochemicals world is rapidly evolving and becoming more sustainable, pledging a brighter future for the world’s oil and gas business.