Samsung Total mulls aromatics expansion in South Korea

23 November 2010 12:06  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Samsung Total is considering expanding aromatics production at its petrochemicals complex in Daesan, South Korea, Graeme Burnett, Total Petrochemicals’ senior vice president for Asia and Middle East, said on Tuesday.

“We’re looking at a project but it’s too soon to announce anything,” he told ICIS in a telephone interview.

The project, if approved, would be world-scale, Burnett added, without specifying the size or timing of the potential investment.

The expansion would add aromatics capacity but not polyolefins, he said.

With all the polyolefins projects coming onstream in the Middle East and the growth in Chinese polyolefins production, it would make more sense to invest in aromatics first, then polyolefins later, he added.

“The market for polyolefins is still going to be pretty tough for another few years,” Burnett said. “If you’re looking at aromatics, where the feedstock is naphtha-based, you can be more competitive.”

For example, demand for paraxylene (PX) is expected to benefit from strong growth in the production of textiles, he added.

Samsung Total, which is owned 50:50 by Brussels-headquartered Total Petrochemicals and South Korea’s Samsung Group, currently produces 600,000 tonnes/year of PX, he said.

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By: Anna Jagger
+44 20 8652 3214

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