06 February 1997 00:00 [Source: ACN]
MOBIL's proposed cracker project in Singapore is in the basic design stage, a source said. The US major is expected to formally announce the project in the middle of this year. The proposed 800 000 tonne/year ethylene project would be Singapore's fourth cracker.
The cracker is expected to start up by 2001. However, this has yet to be confirmed. The company envisages the project as a joint venture with Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB) and some downstream derivative producers. EDB has said it would likely take at most a 25-30% stake (ACN 22 Jan 1996, p17).
The proposed Mobil cracker has so far attracted a lot of interest. Mitsui Petrochemical Industries is studying 300 000 tonne/year hdPE and 250 000 tonne/year phenol facilities for startup in 2000-01.
Mitsubishi Chemical also recently said it would tie up with potential partners Mobiland Chi Mei if it decides to pursue its styrene investment in Singapore (ACN 26 May, p25).
Eastman Chemical has said it is considering a minority stake in the cracker to secure propylene for its second oxo chemical complex which will start up in 2001.
Dow is also looking at a PE investment downstream of the Mobil project.
Exxon formally announced its 800 000 tonne/year cracker project three months ago. The US$2bn investment is to be wholly owned and operated in 2000.
Singapore may well have a fifth cracker if Petrochemical Corp of Singapore (PCS) decides to invest in PCSIII. But PCS said this would depend on supply and demand, and would consider debottlenecking its existing plants first.
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