24 March 2013 22:04 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--Crude C4 supply in the US is relatively stable and will grow modestly, the chief executive of US-based butadiene (BD) producer TPC Group said on Sunday.
“All the US cracker expansions and new crackers will increase supply modestly,” said Mike McDonnell, CEO of TPC Group, on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).
TPC uses crude C4 streams from crackers and refineries to produce BD.
“Overall supply [of C4] is stable but not growing a lot in the US. The US is net short of BD and relies on imports,” he added.
All the cracker expansions and new builds in the US are based on ethane feedstock because of the cost advantage stemming from abundant shale gas.
While this produces low-cost ethylene, the process yields much smaller amounts of C4 as a by-product versus naphtha cracking.
On-purpose BD production using natural gas liquids (NGL) can help fill the gap, said McDonnell.
TPC is in the second phase of its engineering study to build a 600m lb/year (270,000 tonne/year) on-purpose BD plant using its proprietary technology at a site in Texas. Start-up is scheduled for late 2016.
Hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the IPC continues through Tuesday.
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