27 April 2007 16:16 [Source: ICIS news]
By John Richardson
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--?xml:namespace>
Speculation about the consequences will intensify with the latest disturbing news from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Less than three years ago, the Paris-based agency predicted that
Last November, it predicted that
But then on Wednesday of this week (25 April), the agency once again revised its forecast. It now expects
This further revision was no doubt influenced by
International pressure could mount on
What will this mean for the 88 coal-to-methanol projects that have already received approval and the scores more waiting for licenses? Some of these projects are due to be integrated to methanol-to-olefins and methanol-to-polymers production.
The foreign investors, such as Shell and Dow Chemicals, which are involved in coal-based chemical projects in
Plus, if carbon sequestration can be perfected, it would make even more sense for
Much of the methanol made from coal will be used to replace gasoline either directly or indirectly. Dimethyl ether (DME), made from methanol, produces less emissions than petroleum-based alternatives.
This seems unlikely. While the odd measure might be introduced for the sake of international relations,
This is the minimum level of growth necessary to create the jobs needed to maintain social stability. Despite tight labour markets in certain provinces and sectors, overall unemployment is high as a result of World Trade Organization-driven reforms and mass migration from rural to urban areas.
The rest of the world can also ill afford even tighter oil markets and an end to a
The scary thought is that if
A caveat is that the Communist Party could be forced down a different path if rising protests against environmental degradation create a greater threat to stability than high unemployment. Elizabeth Economy, the environmental scientist, estimates that 400,000 people die prematurely in
As for external consequences of reports such as the IEA’s, western chemical companies might face legislation from their own governments restricting investments in
Shareholders, too, who live on both the Ruhr and Thames valleys, might also exert pressure for less investment in
Western governments and shareholders might also demand alternative investment strategies when
The 2008 Beijing Olympics could mark the point of greater international awareness. Thousands of journalists accredited to the International Olympic Authority - and as a result not subject to Chinese government censorship - will be in
Today’s naphtha or ethylene price might be of more immediate importance than all this speculation. But what if you can’t produce any more ethylene to serve the
And what if the global recycling industry becomes so organised and so economically efficient that it halves virgin-resin demand growth in
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