29 March 2013 16:00 [Source: ICIS news]
By Joseph Chang
This is likely to the next big trend in global petrochemicals. Look for more of these US-foreign link-ups downstream, and potentially upstream in the
There are already plans to build seven new world-scale crackers in the
Japan-based Idemitsu and Mitsui have already signed an ethylene offtake agreement with US-based Dow Chemical as Dow builds its 1.5m tonne/year cracker in
Idemitsu and Mitsui will build a linear alpha olefins (LAO) plant and take ethylene from Dow’s new cracker. In turn, Dow will buy some of the LAO for use in its performance plastics business.
And MEGlobal, a 50:50 joint venture between Dow and Kuwait’s Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), is looking to build a new integrated ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol (EO/EG) facility in the US, ICIS learned at the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC) hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) in San Antonio, Texas.
“Following Dow’s announcement about building a new ethane cracker in Freeport, Texas, MEGlobal is seeking board approval to build an EO/EG facility,” said Frank Hanraets, executive vice president, commercial and supply chain at MEGlobal. He made his comments on the sidelines of the IPC.
Dow is quickly filling out its downstream plans. But most other companies building new crackers have yet to fully define theirs. Herein lies the opportunity for foreign and domestic players to partner up to build downstream facilities.
The list of companies building crackers and expanding existing ethylene plants in the
South Africa-based Sasol is building a $5bn-7bn (€3.9bn-5.5bn) cracker complex in
Sasol will license US-based ExxonMobil's tubular process technology for the LDPE plant.
Scanning the list of companies that have said they are considering the construction of crackers in the
SABIC is actually still exploring a new cracker project in the
But there is more than one way to skin a shale cat. Instead of building a new cracker, joining the burgeoning multi-billion dollar project slate, why not take a less capital-intensive route and partner downstream for higher value added products instead?
($1 = €0.78)
Additional reporting by Feliza Mirasol from San Antonio
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