APIC ’12: Benefits of integration driving petchem majors’ behaviour

17 May 2012 11:03  [Source: ICIS news]

KUALA LUMPAR (ICIS)--The benefits of integrating refinery and petrochemical plants have driven the behaviour of major participants in the industry, a consultant said on Thursday.

Clive Gibson, vice president of chemicals consultancy, Nexant Asia, said integration is one of the major sources of competitive advantage for those seeking value from refining and petrochemicals assets.

“The emphasis on integration in the refining/petrochemcials industry has changed markedly over the past two to three decades,” said Gibson.

He said that 25 years ago, refinery and chemicals complexes had moderate efficiency and high cost, but now they focus on high efficiency and low cost.

Companies that integrate their plants avoid unnecessary investment by sharing infrastructure, Gibson said. They are able to optimise the feedstocks they have and keep operating costs low by sharing security and maintenance services, he added.

“We need to squeeze that last dollar out of every molecule that goes through our plants,” he said.

Gibson said the new purposely built integrated sites in Asia and the Middle East have captured even more of a strategic advantage.

However, higher degrees of integration between refinery and petrochemical facilities also bring risks from increased costs of project implementation, as well as possible knock-on effects on the site’s output if one plant goes down, he added.

Gibson was speaking at the 34th annual Asia Petrochemicals Industry Conference (APIC) being held in Kuala Lumpur on 17-18 May.

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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