NPRA '02: Pemex petchem chief details $1bn projects

26 March 2002 01:01  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNI)--The head of Mexico's state-run petrochemicals firm, Pemex Petroquimica, added ambitious details here Monday for Petroquimica's planned $1bn (Euro1.13bn) expansion and new capacity projects, saying he hopes to have some projects under construction later this year or early next.

Speaking here to a session of the 27th annual International Petrochemicals Conference (IPC), Petroquimica president Rafael Beverido Lomelin said the plans announced in late January by the administration of Mexico's President Vicente Fox are designed to "reactivate the Mexican petrochemical industry."

Plans for increasing capacity at Petroquimica's existing plants include:

  • Expansion of the Cangrejera and Morelos ethylene plants to 850 000 tonne/year each;
  • Increasing the Cangrejera ethylene oxide plant (EO) to 300 000 tonne and the Morelos EO plant to 125 000 tonne;
  • Boosting the Cangrejera low density polyethylene (ldPE) plant to 315 000 tonne;
  • Increasing the Pajaritos vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant to 405 000 tonne;
  • Expanding the Cangrejera butadiene, toluene and xylene (BTX) reforming plant to 60 000 bbl/day; and
  • Modernising the company's methanol plant to increase capacity, reduce energy costs and to give the plant flexibility on charge.

New plant projects envisioned as part of Petroquimica's $1bn program include:

  • A 300 000 tonne polyethylene (PE) swing plant to focus on high density PE (hdPE) blow moulding, to be located in the Morelos vicinity;
  • A 300 000 tonne hdPE-linear low density PE (lldPE) swing plant in the Cangrejera vicinity;
  • A 300 000 tonne polypropylene (PP) plant that will take advantage of the propylene availability in southern Mexico;
  • A 500 000 tonne styrene monomer plant in the Cangrejera neighbourhood;
  • Evaluation of a new 1.2m tonne cracker based on ethane/naphtha feedstocks; and
  • Evaluation of a new aromatic train comprised of 400 000 tonne p-xylene and a 140 000 tonne benzene.

Beverido Lomelin said he hopes to move "very fast" on implementing all of these projects and is inviting interested equity investors to contact him. The refurbishing of Petroquimica's existing plants will be done solely by Pemex, but Beverido Lomelin said he is willing to consider up to 90% ownership by private investors in any of the new projects.

Sponsored by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), the IPC concludes on Tuesday.

By: Joe Kamalick
+1 713 525 2653

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