APIC '11: US olefins to rely more on light feeds – IHS

26 May 2011 11:47  [Source: ICIS news]

FUKUOKA, Japan (ICIS)--Light feeds could account for as much as 90% of cracker feedstocks in the US by 2015, and IHS expects the supply of US ethane to increase accordingly, the global consulting firm said on Thursday.

Light raw materials, including ethane, now account for around 80% of the total US cracker feeds, said IHS director Russell Heinen at the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) 2011, which is being held at Fukuoka in Japan on 26-27 May.

IHS said the US will rely more heavily on ethane as there will be ample availability of the product.

Additional ethane cracking capacity in the next 20 years could provide enough feedstock for an incremental 8m tonnes/year of ethylene production, Heinen said.

US ethylene capacity, which is estimated at 27m tonnes/year, is expected to grow in the coming years as several US companies are mulling greenfield and expansion projects as a result of abundant ethane supply.

The US could potentially obtain some 3m tonnes/year of new ethylene capacity, Heinen said.

IHS is basing this projection on recent announcements and anticipated investments from companies such as Dow Chemical and Chevron Phillips Chemical.

Ethane will also allow the US to maintain its current role as a low-cost ethylene producer, he said.

However, propylene and butadiene (BD) prices in the country will remain high compared with ethylene as ethane will constrain the co-product output, Heinen added.

By: William Lemos
+1 713 525 2653

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