Global C2 oversupply eases on cracker delays

21 March 2007 19:50  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The global ethylene oversupply situation will be less severe than earlier expected, primarily due to delays in the startup of new Middle East capacities, an industry consultant said on Wednesday.

“Given 8 percent growth in ethylene capacity beyond 2008, things are going to get long,” Earl Armstrong, managing director of US-based consultants DeWitt & Co said at the company's annual petrochemicals conference,

He pointed out that this was considerably lower than previous projections of as high as 12 percent growth partially due to project delays in Iran and Saudi Arabia. In 2006, global ethylene capacity was estimated over 120m tonnes/year, he said.

“The entire industry is overtaxed, delivery time has gone way up and a shortage of people to start them up and build these days,” Armstrong said, adding that cost overruns and lack of technical expertise have hampered the start-ups of many plants, including those in the Middle East. 

In comparison, polyethylene (PE) demand growth was estimated at 6 percent, just 1-2 percent higher than the increase in capacity in 2008, he said.

By: Steve Tan
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