S Korean companies building new crackers utilizing lighter feeds
South Korea’s Lotte Chemical is reportedly planning to build a $3.9 billion (4.3 trillion won) natural gas-based chemical complex in Surgil, Uzbekistan in a project in which the Uzbek government is also cooperating. The construction of the natural-gas based plant is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The plant will reportedly have production capacities of 390,000 tons/year of HDPE and 80,000 tons/year of PP. The company is also building a cracker in the US through a joint venture with Axiall. The 1 million tons/year ethane cracker is expected to be completed by 2018.
Sources also reported that South Korea’s LG Chemical and state-owned Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries (KPI) are jointly building a natural gas-based petrochemical plant in Kazakhstan. The $4 billion (4.41 trillion won) plant is expected to have an ethylene production capacity of 840,000 tons/year and a PE production capacity of 800,000 tons/year.
Another Korean company, SK Gas, is also building an LPG-based propylene production plant in Ulsan which is expected to be come into stream next year.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s Hyosung Corporation is expected to complete a debottlenecking project by the third quarter of this year at its Yongyeon propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant in Ulsan. Once the project is completed, the company’s propylene capacity will increase to 500,000 tons/year from 200,000 tons/year.
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