North America to see equivalent of 4-5 new crackers by 2020

05 January 2012 22:19  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS)--North America is expected to bring on the equivalent of four to five new world-scale crackers by 2020, a consultant said on Wednesday.

“This will come from new crackers, debottlenecks and restarts,” said James Virosco, principal of US-based consultancy Nexant, at a meeting of the Chemical Marketing & Economics Group in New York.

The large reserves of natural gas in North American shale are encouraging companies to increase their capabilities of cracking ethane, he added.

A world-scale ethane cracker is typically considered to have capacity of around 1m tonnes/year.

While Europe will continue to be a high-cost region because its crackers are naphtha-based, “the US Gulf Coast [is going] to be a leader in low-cost ethylene”, Virosco said.

For more on ethylene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Ivan Lerner
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