LyondellBasell mulls alternative feedstock for Europe crackers

01 February 2013 22:26  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--LyondellBasell is considering alternative feedstocks for its naphtha crackers in response to the difficult economic conditions in Europe, the company's chief executive said on Friday.

"Simply put, Europe's a tough environment right now," said Jim Gallogly, CEO of LyondellBasell. He made his comments during an earnings conference call.

"We're doing what we can about that, and that's taking costs down," Gallogly said.

One strategy is to look at alternative feedstock.

There could be natural gas liquids (NGLs) available, Gallogly said.

Plus, condensate pricing is changing, and some condensate from Algeria is now going into Europe, Gallogly said.

"These assets will get better," Gallogly said. "Remember, we're in a trough environment, and as the world economies come up, those assets will improve."

The economy in China is showing signs of improving, he said.  As Chinese demand for petrochemicals increases, Middle Eastern exports that were headed to Europe could be redirected to Asia.

That, in turn, would provide some relief to European producers, Gallgoly said.

By: Al Greenwood
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