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Asian Chemical Connections

Butadiene Market Standoff

By Malini Hariharan Just days after a recovery in butadiene prices, downstream synthetic rubber producers are once again threatening to cut production as weak demand has pushed them in to a tight corner. Asian major Korea Kumho Petrochemical is looking at trimming the operating rate at its 210,000 tonnes/year polybutadiene rubber (BR) plant to 85%, and also […]

It’s All About Shale Gas

By Malini Hariharan As expected, excitement around shale gas is running strong at the CERAWeek conference in Houston. But an element of caution is also visible with the majors appearing to be in no rush to finalise their investments. Shell is still a few years away from taking a final investment decision on a proposed […]

Formosa Confirms US Cracker Plans

By Malini Hariharan One more US cracker and propane dehydrogenation (PDH) project has been confirmed. After months of speculation Formosa Plastics has announced that plans to build a 800,000 tonnes/year ethane cracker, a 600,000 tonnes/year PDH plant and a 300,000 tonnes/year low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant at Point Comfort, Texas. The $1.7bn investment is due […]

Honam’s next expansion

By Malini Hariharan Honam Petrochemical’s plans for Indonesia appear to be progressing. Company sources told ICIS news yesterday that a feasibility study is underway for a $4-5bn petrochemical complex in Southeast Asia with Indonesia the most likely location. The study is likely to be completed by early 2013. Meanwhile, Indonesia media quoted senior managing director […]

IOC Defers PX/PTA, Proceeds With Acetic Acid, Butene-1

By Malini Hariharan The blog continues with a review of Indian projects. State-owned refinery major Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has deferred its paraxylene (PX) and purified terephthalic acid (PTA) projects at Vadodara in Gujarat state, to post 2015. “The project is on hold because of commercial issues; we are looking at the total PX/PTA picture […]

Hits And Misses For Indian Projects

By Malini Hariharan The Indian project scene continues to see some hits and misses. Among the projects on track, sources at Gail (India) told the blog last week that expansion of its Pata cracker and a new polyethylene (PE) plant will be completed in Q1 2014. Mechanical completion is due in December 2013,, while commissioning […]

Middle East looks overseas for growth

By Malini Hariharan The US shale gas buzz is now drawing Middle East companies with Sabic’s CEO revealing yesterday that the company is considering investing in a US cracker. Sabic would pursue the US cracker on its own or with a partner, reports ICIS news. A shortage of ethane in Saudi Arabia means Sabic has […]

US shale gas buzz in the Middle East

By Malini Hariharan The US shale gas advantage is a recurring theme at this year’s GPCA forum with companies giving more details about their expansion plans. Chevron Philips Chemical confirmed that it will build a 1.5m tonnes/year cracker at its Cedar Bayou complex in Texas, reports ICIS news Permits for the project are being filed, […]

PTT Global’s latest buy and Siam Cement’s Indonesia plan

By Malini Hariharan There have been no headline-grabbing deals but bit by bit PTT Global Chemical is extending its business beyond Asia and entering new product areas. Yesterday, PTT Global announced plans for a joint venture with Perstorp Holding France in toluene diisocyanate (TDI), aliphatic isocynates such as hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) and derivatives. PTT Global […]

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