APLA ’12: Latin America firms must redefine petchem projects

10 November 2012 23:54  [Source: ICIS news]

RIO DE JANEIRO (ICIS)--Latin American petrochemical companies must redefine and communicate their project plans to compete with US companies expanding capacity on low-cost shale gas feedstock, a consultant said on Saturday.

“We have not seen a strategically oriented message taking into account the new scenario from companies that have announced major projects,” said Raul Arias, senior consultant and manager for Latin America, energy and chemicals at Nexant.

Arias spoke on the sidelines of the Latin American Petrochemical Association (APLA) annual meeting.

“Companies need to communicate that they have adapted their projects to a new world,” he added.

The wave of announced US ethylene and derivative capacity additions will not only create a greater competitive force in exports but also largely take away the US market for additional Latin American exports, said the consultant.

“While few companies have said it directly, many of these Latin American projects were targeting the North American market for exports,” said Arias.

There have already been delays in petrochemical projects in Latin America, and some will be cancelled, he said.

“The ones that remain will have to be resized to reflect the new realities of the market,” said Arias.

The APLA conference ends on Tuesday.

By: Joseph Chang
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