24 March 2010 23:15 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Global propylene availability is expected to remain restricted despite some 13m-14m tonne/year of new capacity coming on stream in 2009 and 2010, a consultant said on Wednesday.
Co-product production from steam crackers and refinery operations is limiting the supply of the propylene molecules, said Mike Smith, vice president of propylene, DeWitt . He was speaking at his company's 35th World Petrochemical Conference.
Supplies from refinery gasoline operations are being limited due to increased use of biofuels and rising fuel efficiency standards, Smith said.
Much of the new propylene capacity is associated with new polypropylene (PP) plants, he said. In many cases, propylene cannot be exported from these plants, so if the PP plant is underutilised, so is the propylene unit.
Although PP is expected to see strong growth, Smith said that there is an abundance of PP capacity that will hold operating rates in the low 80s%.
For more on PP visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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