Global ethylene production capacity to increase almost 6.5 million tonnes/year in 2012 if all projects under construction continue as planned; growth will slow in 2013 but pick up again in 2014, according to survey

LOS ANGELES , July 4, 2012 () –

Ethylene production capacity growth worldwide is expected to be at a near-record rate of 6.5 million tonnes per year in 2012 if all projects now under construction continue on their previously-planned schedules, reported Oil & Gas Journal on July 2.

Next year, the growth rate is due to fall off sharply to just over 2 million tonnes/year, but should pick up for ethylene and relative capacity expansion beyond 2013, based on projects now planned, according to the publication’s latest survey of the industry.

In Jan. 1, 2012, global ethylene production capacity reached nearly 141 million tonnes/year, which was 2.5 million tonnes/year or 1.8% higher than in 2010, when capacity growth over 2009 showed a net record hike of 6%, Oil & Gas Journal reported.

In the most recent four years, including 2012, ethylene capacity has grown rapidly in Asia and the Middle East. Saudi Arabia alone added 1.2 million tonnes/year in 2011. Ethylene and relative projects in the Middle East are set to continue to outpace the rest of the globe.

In North America, several projects have been announced in the past 18 months. Much of the activity in the U.S. is tied to shale gas exploration and production, with the prospect for cheap and plentiful natural gas, reported Oil & Gas Journal.

Among the companies planning U.S. expansions in ethylene production are ExxonMobile Corp., Dow Chemical Co., INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA, Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP, Lyondell Chemical Co. and others.

In Canada, Nova Chemicals Corp. is expanding its ethylene production at Corunna, Ontario. Braskem SA and joint-venture partner Mexico-based Grupo Idesa SA de CV are investing in ethylene for the Mexican market.

Venezuela’s Pequiven Polimerica Polinter added 1.3 million tonnes/year of ethylene capacity last year, Oil & Gas Journal reported.

In Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Toyo Engineering Corp. and Egyptian state-owned engineering company ENPPI are expanding ethylene production at a petrochemical complex in Alexandria owned by the Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives Co.

Other projects in the region involve such companies as ExxonMobile, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., South Korea’s SK Group, Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Royal Dutch Shell, Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and Saudi International Petrochemical Co., among others, reported Oil & Gas Journal.

The primary source of this article is Oil & Gas Journal, Houston, Texas, on July 2, 2012.


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