InterviewChina petrochemical demand 'to grow above increase in GDP'

29 March 2011 13:30  [Source: ICIS news]

SHANGHAI (ICIS)--China’s petrochemical demand growth will probably outpace GDP expansion in the next five years, a senior official from US-based petrochemical major ExxonMobil Chemical said on Tuesday.

“I expect China’s petrochemical demand growth will be above GDP. As [China’s] GDP continues to grow and urbanisation continues to take place, the demand for petrochemical products increases along with that,” said William P Cirioli, vice president of global technology at ExxonMobil Chemical.

“We certainly see that [demand growth] continuing over the next five-year period and naturally for a long time in the future,” Cirioli said.

Increased demand for packaged products will continue in the next five years and rising wealth and urbanisation will lead to more consumer products in which plastics and polymers are broadly used, Cirioli told ICIS.

In order to meet the growing Chinese market, ExxonMobil Chemical had built a technology centre in China’s financial hub, Shanghai, and this will be officially opened on Wednesday 30 March.

“The most important role of the centre is to bring innovative solutions to our customers," said Cirioli.

“We have a broad range of premium products that we’ve developed, but it’s not just good enough to have premium products, you have to work with customers to tailor those products and to tailor the formulations for their specific needs,” he added.

The company may continue to invest in the Shanghai centre to meet future technology growth needs in the region in the future, Cirioli said.

Besides the Shanghai technology centre, ExxonMobil Chemical has two other major technology centres in the US and Europe.

Cirioli said that a plan to expand capacity at its Fujian Refining & Petrochemical (FREP) joint venture in China is “basically in evaluation phase” and no final decision had been made.

FREP, a joint venture between China’s Sinopec, ExxonMobil and Saudi Aramco, started up its 800,000 tonne/year cracker and other downstream units in 2009.

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By: Judith Wang
+65 6780 4359

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