US could become glycol net exporter on ethane advantage

17 May 2013 17:22  [Source: ICIS news]

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey  (ICIS)--The US could become a net exporter of glycols because of its growing advantage from low-priced ethane, according to a speaker at the 3rd World Surfactants Conference held in Jersey City this week.

“The US was dying in petrochemicals, but the situation has turned 180 degrees,” Doug Rightler, an expert in the ethylene and derivatives field, said on Thursday.

Focusing on ethylene oxide (EO), a key precursor for glycol production, Rightler said the world is in balance on EO and monoethylene glycol (MEG) right now.

By 2016-2017 the balanced conditions are likely to change, largely because of growing demand in other regions, primarily Asia, he said.

Rightler pointed out that the US will have an increasingly significant cost advantage for ethylene feedstock ethane because of the shale gas phenomenon in North America.

“The US could be a [excellent] exporter of ethylene chemistry,” he added.

According to Rightler, the US will have the lowest EO derivative costs and scale and is a “perfect position” to dominate global growth in derivatives such as ethoxylates, ethanolamines and ethers.

Ethoxylates and ethanolamines are key materials in many surfactant products.

The conference ends on Friday.

By: Judith Taylor
+1 713 525 2653

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