APLA '11: Mexico’s Pemex studies cracker expansions

07 November 2011 19:25  [Source: ICIS news]

An ethylene crackerBUENOS AIRES (ICIS)--Mexico’s Pemex Petroquimica is considering expanding its crackers in Morelos and Cangrejera, an official for the Mexican state-owned producer said on Monday.

“We have plans to expand our crackers located in Cangrejera and Morelos from 650,000 tonnes/year each to 900,000 tonne/year,” said Pemex sales and marketing director Carlos Pani on the sidelines of the Latin American Petrochemical Association (APLA) annual meeting.

In Morelos, Pemex is considering building downstream ethylene oxide (EO) and ethylene glycol (EG) units with a joint venture partner, he said.
“We are thinking of expanding the cracker and building an EO and EG [unit] associated with a private company interested in the product to produce 400,000 tonnes/year of EG.”

The project would yield about 300,000 tonnes/year of EO, he said.

The partner would be a Mexican company, he said, without providing further details.

A decision on the integrated ethylene, EO and EG project is expected in the first half of next year, said Pani, who is an APLA board member. The project could come on stream two or three years afterwards, he added.

Pemex already has the capacity to produce 280,000 tonnes/year of purified EO at Morelos, and plans to add a further 80,000 tonnes/year around mid 2014, he said.

The EO expansion, which would raise capacity to 360,000 tonnes/year, would require an investment of approximately $230m (€168m), he said.

The proposed cracker expansion at Cangrejera is less well defined. Pemex has been focusing on the proposed cracker and downstream production at Morelos, Pani said.

Additional ethylene from Cangrejera could feed additional vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) production, he suggested.

The APLA meeting runs through Tuesday.

($1 = €0.73)

By: Anna Jagger
+44 20 8652 3214

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