EPCA '10: INEOS looks to Mideast, Asia for intermediates growth

03 October 2010 14:06  [Source: ICIS news]

INEOS looks to Mideast, Asia for intermediates growthBUDAPEST (ICIS)--INEOS could look to enter into production joint ventures for intermediates such as phenol, acrylonitrile and ethylene oxide to give it a foothold in the Middle East or Asia, group director Tom Crotty said on Sunday.

“Strategically, we are very Europe and North America focused and we would like to do something in the Middle East and Asia,” he added on the sidelines of the 44th European Petrochemicals Association (EPCA) meeting.

INEOS has technological strength in these products, he suggested.

“I can’t see us going out and doing an Innovene-type acquisition,” Crotty said. In 2005 INEOS gained a considerable position in European and North American olefins and polyolefins through the $9bn (€6.6bn) purchase of BP’s Innovene business.

INEOS signed a letter of intent in January2010 with Sinopec to build a 400,000 tonne/year phenol plant in Nanjing. It would be the largest of its kind in China.

Crotty said that INEOS was still talking to PetroChina about its refinery business. INEOS has refineries at Grangemouth in Scotland and Lavera in France.

Refining has been difficult for the integrated polyolefins and chemicals producer. “We describe ourselves as a four cylinder engine,” Crotty said. “Refining is washing its face,” he added … “but right now we’re running on three cylinders.”

Rising demand for durable goods has helped pull through demand for intermediates and driven INEOS in the first three quarters of the year, he added. Output of these products had slumped in the recession.

“It really is in the durable sector that we’ve seen the step change in 12010,” Crotty said. “The real volatility has been in these durable, pull-through products.”

($1 = €0.73)

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan's Asian Chemical Connections blog
For more on INEOS visit ICIS company intelligence
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By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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