26 July 2012 18:05 [Source: ICIS news]
Among producers in the US Gulf coast, Dow has a third of the region's propane-cracking potential, said Andrew Liveris, Dow chief executive.
Liveris made his comments during an earnings conference call.
When propane became the preferred feedstock for ethylene production during the second quarter, Dow was able to switch from ethane, Liveris said.
Looking forward, Dow expects propane to remain long, creating a ceiling on ethane prices, Liveris said.
Such a development should allow US ethylene producers to maintain their cost advantage against those in much of the world.
Those crackers rely on oil-based naphtha as a feedstock, while US plants rely on natural gas liquids (NGLs).
The advent of shale gas has increased supplies of NGLs, lowering their cost.
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