27 February 2012 00:00 [Source: ICB]
As this new ICIS global ethylene project map shows, the global chemical industry is pushing ahead with ambitious plans to add vast volumes of new capacity during the rest of this decade. The spotlight is still firmly on China where government efforts to stimulate domestic chemical production are bearing fruit. It is now the number one global location for new capacity with over 25m tonnes due to come onstream.
The Middle East is still performing strongly with 22m tonnes of new capacity expected to follow on from the initial flurry of the last 2-3 years. Availability of feed stocks is till an issue in this region and is likely to constrain further developments.
Shale gas has been the big topic for the US chemical industry this year. The availability of cheap ethane has brought about a renaissance in the sector’s performance and prospects are good. Over 9m tonnes of new ethylene capacity has been announced. In other regions such as Latin America, Russia and the rest of Asia, a steady flow of capacity is planned to help meet the needs of its growing markets. There is not much activity in Europe where reliance on expensive naphtha feedstocks has restrained capacity additions.
The map shows announced projects as reported by ICIS. Data was collated on February 1, 2012.
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