APIC ’10: China likely to be a technology exporter - consultants

13 May 2010 16:08  [Source: ICIS news]

MUMBAI (ICIS news)--China has the potential to become an exporter of chemical technology as it now ranks among the top industry innovators in Asia, a director at consultancy firm McKinsey & Co said on Thursday.

“As new capacities are built, new innovations are made. Therefore, I can imagine that China, from the 20 years as a technology importer, becomes a technology developer and, at some point in time, becomes an exporter,” said Tomas Koch of McKinsey.

Koch and other sources quoted in this story were speaking at the Asia Petrochemical Industry Association Conference (APIC) 2010 in Mumbai, India.

Being ahead in technology could lead to enhanced profitability for petrochemical players, said John King, vice president and director for energy and chemicals at consultancy company Nexant.

“The number of innovations in Asia is outpacing the rest of the world,” said King, citing that China, South Korea and Japan were leading in this area.

“Those countries who understand this and position themselves [well] stand to enjoy long-term success,” he added.

One example of such innovation is the coal-to-olefins process that is flourishing in China, King said.

While more capital intensive than using gas or naphtha as feedstocks to derive olefins, the coal-to-olefins process provides good margins and higher returns on investments for China, according to King.

China, which has a vast reserve of coal, currently has 14 coal-to-olefins projects, with three expected to come on stream this year, he said.

Further innovations in the industry would be driven by the search for alternative and cheaper energy, the pursuit of green technology, as well as the growth of emerging economies, King said.

APIC 2010 runs from 13-14 May.

For more on olefins visit ICIS chemical intelligence
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s Asian Chemical Connections blog
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By: Pearl Bantillo
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