APIC ’11: China coal-to-chemicals capacity to surge in 2013-2016

26 May 2011 06:25  [Source: ICIS news]

FUKUOKA, Japan (ICIS)--China’s coal-to-chemicals capacity is set to surge in 2013-2016 as a wave of new projects come on stream, an industry analyst said on Thursday.

“Given that China has limited crude oil and natural gas supply, the country has to look at alternatives,” said Paul Pang, managing director of chemicals consultancy, Chemical Market Associated Inc (CMAI).

Pang was speaking at the sidelines of the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC), which is being held at Fukuoka in Japan on 26-27 May.

A coal-to-chemicals capacity of an estimated 5.83m tonnes/year is expected to come on stream by 2016, with more coal-to-chemical technologies to be commercialised, Pang said.

This includes two projects. One of them is Shenhua Baotou Coal Chemical’s 600,000 tonne/year methanol-to-olefins plant, which came on stream in the third quarter of last year.

The other is Datang International Power Generation’s 500,000 tonne/year methanol-to-polyolefins project in east China, which was started up in the second quarter of this year, Pang said.

Also in the pipeline are Yankuang Group’s 600,000 tonne/year methanol-to-olefins project in east China – scheduled to come on stream in the middle of 2014 – and Pucheng Clean Energy’s 680,000 tonne/year methanol-to-olefins plant, which the company will start up in the middle of 2013, he said.

Another six confirmed projects by various local companies will come on stream by 2016, with around 13 other coal-to-chemicals projects, which are in their planning stages, according to Pang.

“With strong downstream growth, China continues to expand its petrochemical industry to meet the increasing demand for raw materials,” Pang said.

After a large wave of capacity growth over the past five years, China intends to continue building more petrochemical projects, he added.

“With this strong capacity growth, the Chinese petrochemical industry has met a major bottleneck in feedstock supply,” Pang said.

In the past, coal-to-chemical projects were built mainly for making polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and methanol, he added.

“Recent developments are using coal to make polyolefin resin through the methanol-to-olefin process. This innovative technology will change the competitive landscape of the Chinese petrochemical industry,” Pang said.

In 2009, China’s coal reserves totalled 319bn tonnes and were concentrated in the north and northwest areas of the country, he said.

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By: Nurluqman Suratman



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