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Asian Chemical Connections

European Political Suicide Seems Unlikely

By John Richardson For once, we are not going to talking about demand but will instead focus only on supply. “In all scenarios, the US captures market share away from Europe,” the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) chief economist, Kevin Swift, said in a presentation last week. As my colleague Nigel Davis, in another of excellent […]

US To Lose Out To China In Energy Race

By John Richardson ARE you either a “tree hugger” or a “climate science denier”? If you fall into one of these two categories, you will be one of the dwindling minority of people who support a multi-faceted approach to US energy policy, according to a US petrochemicals industry source. “The tree huggers are those who […]

China’s Methanol Industry: Through The Looking Glass

By John Richardson AT first glance, some of the facts relating to China’s methanol sector sound like Jabberwocky  sounded to Alice when she firs discovered the language of that name in the marvellous Lewis Carroll novel, Alice Through The Looking Glass. Here are some examples of what we are talking about, from our colleagues at […]

China To Keep Polyolefins Imports Out

By John Richardson THERE has been a lot of talk about how fully integrated coal-to-polyolefins plants in China will compete exceptionally well with naphtha crackers on a variable cost basis. OK, in terms of capital costs, the whole coal-to-polyolefins chain is some 2-3 times more expensive than building a naphtha cracker complex. You have to, […]

China Reforms: The Global Implications

By John Richardson IT can feel logical to assume that the fundamentals of the petrochemicals business in Asia haven’t really changed. When you think about it, apart from a brief interruption in the region’s success story during the Asian Financial crisis in 1997-1998, everything has been pretty much plain sailing. And in retrospect, the severity […]

The “Why” Behind Sinopec’s Investment Freeze

By John Richardson SINOPEC has announced that it will halt some of its new petrochemicals investments. This could involve the postponement of up to three cracker projects with a combined ethylene capacity of 2.8m tonnes/year, according to this excellent story from my ICIS colleague, Fanny Zhang. The company confirmed that the 1m tonnes/year Qingdao Petrochemical […]

The “Logic” Of US Ethane Exports

By John Richardson THE search for feedstock advantage is constant, given that some 80-90% of variable costs for any petrochemicals producer consists of the cost of acquiring raw materials. Hence, my colleague Nigel Davis, in this excellent Insight article, writes: The US company, Enterprise Products, is planning an ethane export terminal on the US Gulf […]

The Petronas Decision And Singapore

By John Richardson THE blog continues to ponder the significance of the Petronas announcement that it is to go ahead with its $27bn refinery-petrochemicals project – the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) at Johor in Malaysia. “It means that Singapore faces a competitor with deep pockets. Time to assess the winners and losers on Singapore’s Jurong […]

China Turns A Corner On Shale Gas

By John Richardson CHINA has more shale gas reserves than the US, and, like the US six years ago, confronts a dangerous reliance on imported energy. But the development of the shale industry in China is being hampered by water shortages,  poor intellectual property rights protection leading to lack of access to cutting edge US […]

The Petronas Decision: What It Means

By John Richardson LAST week’s decision by Petronas to go ahead with its $27bn refinery and petrochemicals complex at Pengerang in Johor, Malaysia, tells us that: Nation building remains important in the petrochemicals business. This project will create huge further economic value for Malaysia through all the construction and operating jobs created and the revenues […]

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