EPCA ’08: Latin America faces feedstock challenge

28 September 2008 10:32  [Source: ICIS news]

MONTE CARLO (ICIS news)--A lack of alternative sources of raw material is the main factor holding back expansion in the Latin American petrochemical industry, an official said on Sunday.

“Without raw material availability, it is difficult to attract investment and without investment the industry cannot expand,” said APLA director Graciela Gonzalez on the sidelines of the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting.

Gonzalez said increased demand for petrochemicals in some Latin American countries would likely have to be met with imports because the industry was already operating at or near full capacity.

Latin America does not lack the natural resources, but it needs investment to make those resources available to the industry, she said.

The outcome of the credit crisis in the US was a top concern for the region, the official said, adding that signs of a credit squeeze could already be felt in the industry.

“Some downstream producers can no longer count on sources of credit that were once readily available,” she said.

Gonzalez expects the next Latin American Petrochemical and Chemical Association (APLA) meeting to attract a record number of delegates to its annual meeting in Rio de Janeiro in November.

“In times of crisis there is a greater need to network and to see what your competition is doing,” she said.

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By: William Lemos
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