MidEast ethylene capacity to triple by 2012

22 March 2007 21:49  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news--Ethylene capacity in the Middle East will triple between 2006 and 2012, an industry analyst said on Thursday.

"We expect in excess of 20m tonnes new capacity to start up by the end of 2012, taking capacity in this region above that in North America," Tony Potter, Director - Olefins Studies, Europe, Middle East and Africa for CMAI said at the company's conference.

Most of the capacity addition will be in Saudi Arabia, followed by Iran as well as significant additions being built in Kuwait, Qatar and Abu Dhabi, Potter said.

He refuted some suggestions that project delays in the region may mitigate the next industry downturn expected in 2009.

"This is another myth we would like to break. With the exception of Iran, projects are on, or ahead of, schedule," he said.

Investment in the Middle East has been driven by the availability of low cost feedstock. While the average cost structure is expected to increase between 2006 and 2010, the regional average cost position will still be relatively low, Potter added.

By: Abdul Hadhi
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