14 December 2011 05:50 [Source: ICIS news]
DUBAI (ICIS)--Global ethylene capacity is expected to grow to around 180m tonnes in 2016, from about 150m tonnes in 2011, driven by new additions in the Middle East and Asia, an industry consultant said late on Tuesday.
Overall ethylene capacity in the Middle East is expected to increase to 35m tonnes in 2016, from about 26m tonnes in 2011, according to Mark Eramo, vice president of research and analysis at IHS Chemical.
Total ethylene capacity in Asia, meanwhile, is forecast to rise to around 65m tonnes in 2016, from about 50m tonnes in 2011, Eramo said.
Eramo was speaking at the sixth GPCA Forum that is being held in Dubai on 13-15 December, with the theme ‘Moving Downstream - Creating Value and Sustainable Growth’.
Meanwhile, global operating rates are expected to increase on the back of strong demand and slower capacity additions through to 2016, he said.
Operating rates of crackers worldwide are forecast to remain "in the mid-80s percent range", although they should begin to recover soon, according to Eramo.
Furthermore, the economic slowdown stemming from the European debt crisis will likely surpass the recovery in 2012, he said.
"Following the current weakness, the recovery will resume in 2013 with peak operating rates and healthy global profit margins returning in 2014-2015," he added.
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