AFPM ’12: Europe producers stand to lose in N America shale gale

03 April 2012 20:12  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--One of the losers in the rush to develop shale reserves in North America could be European chemical producers, the chief executive of Huntsman said on Tuesday.

As the US becomes a major exporter of ethylene derivatives as a result of low cost shale feedstocks, European naphtha crackers and derivatives plants will become more vulnerable, Huntsman CEO Peter Huntsman said at a customer breakfast during the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC) in San Antonio.

He said an Energy Information Administration (EIA) study indicates 35% of Europe’s ethylene and derivatives production capacity may be economically vulnerable in the next four years as a result of cheaper imports from North America.

“This is really going to change the dynamics of the market if the United States becomes a net exporter of ethylene derivative products in places like Europe, which have largely been self sufficient in the past because of importing markets,” he said.

He noted during an interview on Monday that ramped up production in the Middle East is also putting pressure on European producers.

Other losers in the shale reserves development boom will be so-called “clean energy” such as wind and solar power producers as they are undercut by cheap natural gas costs, Huntsman said.

He said that roughly a third of the $10bn (€7.5bn) invested by the US Department of Energy in alternative energy company start-ups has been written off as failures.

Hosted by American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the IPC continues through Tuesday.

($1 = €0.75)


By: Brian Ford
+1 713 525 2653



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