03 April 2008 17:43 [Source: ICIS news]
By Nigel Davis
LONDON (ICIS news)--Feedstock-rich ?xml:namespace>
The province has a well developed upstream petrochemicals sector with NOVA Chemicals the key player. Plans are being developed now to introduce production of a more diversified range of chemicals, primarily, perhaps, from synthesis gas.
The province is also looking into more downstream chemicals processing.
Nova signed a letter of intent last August with pipeline company Williams to process off-gases from oil sands processing.
Such streams have the potential to add as much as two-thirds to
Oil sands processing also offers considerable additional potential. Consultants Kline said this week that 15%-20% of waste from oil sands bitumen processing could be used to produce synthesis gas and chemicals.
Kline has whittled down a list of some 170 products that could be made in the province to 31 strategic chemicals. C1, C2 and C3 products could be used to help develop the downstream processing sector, it says.
Bitumen is not the most attractive of materials and would have to be significantly upgraded to provide conventional downstream oil and petrochemical products.
But it could be handled in alternative ways to yields strategically important products such as the major polyolefins.
Bitumen upgrading will exceed 3m bbl/day by 2025, it adds, yielding considerable quantities of "stranded upgrader bottoms" that could not necessarily find use as coke in domestic energy generation or export.
Alongside that, the provincial government and others have to recognise the potential for investment in upstream and downstream infrastructure, logistics and employee resources.
Kline envisages the development of an upstream and mid-stream chemicals ‘cluster’ in the
This is a perennial problem or rather issue for energy-rich regions and nations. Upgrading makes sense if the price and cost to market is right. NOVA’s
Using more ethane makes sense, so long as the price is right. Making use of the new feeds and raw materials becoming available from oil sands processing could be advantageous but will take time and the application of a bit more lateral thinking.
Some work on an integrated chemicals site, or cluster, could start now, Kline’s Fred Du Plessis says, but the consultants stress that their study looks out over a 25-year timeframe. In its full version it becomes available at the end of May or in early June.
Producers will look at capital costs - estimated by Kline at 1.6 times the US Gulf Coast average - and at labour/productivity costs in Alberta which are relatively high before considering a project there..
Yet the search is on by all major producers to new feedstock sources - and with the right infrastructure and logistics, the best ways of getting products to market.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections