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ChemOrbis 6th Asia Petrochemical Conference: Lower crude prices to affect feedslates

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 10/06/2015 (15:14)
ChemOrbis’ 6th Asian Petrochemical Conference, held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, Malaysia on June 10th 2015, continued with a presentation from Mr Andrew Lee Fagg from Nexant entitled, “Outlook for Petrochemicals in a Changing Feedstock World.” Mr Fagg’s presentation discussed the impact of lower crude oil prices in evaluating different feedstock options.

Mr. Fagg listed Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines as countries with the potential to see significant growth in per capita polyolefins consumption while noting that these countries are starting from relatively low bases. Mr. Fagg added that they expect the developing world, including Southeast Asia and India, to remain the primary driver of global demand growth for polyolefins.

Regarding global trends in olefin and polyolefin production, Mr. Fagg stated that the US has begun to reinvest in commodity chemical production due to the drop in feedstock costs brought about by the shale revolution, although he noted that this advantage has been lessened by cheaper oil. Middle Eastern countries are seeking to further utilize their ethane and other available NGLs by continuing to invest in new refinery capacity with a focus on refinery/petchem integration. In the meantime, China has increased their focus on investment in coal to chemicals and PDH capacities.

US ethane exports are soon to become a reality as several European companies have started to install ethane receiving terminals including INEOS, Sabic and Borealis. In addition, India’s Reliance has signed a long-term shipping agreement to transport ethane, targeting deliveries of 1.5 million tons per year.

Mr. Fagg stated that with the increasing shift to lighter feedstock as well as MTO investments (around 30 projects throughout this upcoming 5 years), naphtha’s share as a global cracker feedstock is anticipated to decline through 2020.
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