Corrected: APIC ’10: Low natgas prices bode well for US chlor-alkali

13 May 2010 15:00  [Source: ICIS news]

Cheap natgas helps chlor-alkaliCorrection: In the ICIS news story headlined "APIC ’10: Low natgas prices bode well for US chlor-alkali" dated 13 May 2010, please read in the fourth paragraph …US polyvinyl chloride (PVC) exports… instead of …US caustic soda exports…. A corrected story follows.

MUMBAI (ICIS news)--Low natural gas prices will help the US gain a competitive edge in the global chlor-alkali market, a consultant said on Thursday, citing reduced production costs as a factor lending support to the industry.

Low natural gas prices can cut production costs in the chlor-alkali industry by reducing the price of electricity, the main component in the cost structure of chlorine and caustic soda plants.

Natural gas prices in the US were among the world's most competitive, with supply ample and availability expected to continue for several years.

Increased competitiveness in the US chlor-alkali industry would likely impact the market in Asia, said Stephen Harriman, publishing director at Harriman Chemsult, predicting that Asia would become a target for US polyvinyl chloride (PVC) exports.

Asia had recently become an exporter of caustic soda to the US, shipping the product mainly to the west coast of the country, Harriman said during a presentation at the 2010 Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) in Mumbai.

The US receives shipments from China, Taiwan and Japan totalling some 600,000 tonnes/year, the consultant said.

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