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Asian Chemical Connections

Dow fit with Reliance makes the most sense

Reliance is building the world’s first cracker that will be entirely fed by off-gas from its huge refinery expansion at Jamnagar. This technology has been used before, but never on this scale because nobody has had enough refinery capacity to run a cracker 100% on very cheap off-gas. The Dow strategy includes looking for cheaper […]

Two optimistic views of the future

The eternal optimists at Nova Chemicals presented a very bullish view of olefins and polyolefins markets at their recent results meeting.Aaron Yap, trader with Integra, was also equally bullish at the ICIS Asian Polymers Conference in Shanghai last week – see Download file In short, Aaron believed that demand growth would hold up downstream while […]

Is ExxonMobil taking a gamble?

Will China relax the price controls that have led to wallopping great losses for domestic refiners, thereby justifying ExxonMobil’s Fujian investment? As we can see from this Bloomberg article, Exxon is pinning many of its hopes on these controls being relaxed. Does the US giant know something we don’t or are they taking a punt? […]

Oops a daisy, here we go again

A boring topic to harp on about again I know, but this article from my colleague Nigel Davis from the Insight section of ICIS news supports what I have been saying for the past two years. The industry has overbuilt, and despite all the optimism engendered by project delays and probably cancellations in Iran of […]

Oh my goodness, when will it end?

We heard about this rumour last year, but it’s emerged again – Reliance is now said to be in advanced discussions for acquiring Nova Chemicals. Nova’s Alberta-based cracker and PE production might be attractive because of pretty competitive, locked-in gas prices, but would Reliance really want its styrenics business – the asset that’s officially on […]

Could Pride Come Before A Fall?

This article from Reuters highlights the danger of overpaying for assets in the current India M&A frenzy.Perhaps its point about the overall of over-confidence is valid, especially given that previous deals were small scale. Other Indian companies, following Tata Steel’s lead, are starting to bid the big league. Integrating small acquisitions to add value is […]

The case for investing in Indonesia

Indonesia before 1997 had three cracker projects and huge demand growth. It was mentioned in the same breath as China. And, of course, then came the crisis. But this year GDP growth could be the highest since the crisis with the government in sound financial condition. The case for petrochemical investment is obvious as monomers […]

China facing permanent demand destruction?

An interesting debate is emerging over the growth of the recycled polymer market in China. Sinodata, the Beijing-based consultancy, estimates that 5.8m tonnes of all types of recycled polymers were imported into China last year, an 800,000 tonnes increase over 2006. Five years ago, recycled imports totalled less than 500,000 tonnes. With domestic recycling also […]

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