EPCA ’14: Half of US PDH projects to be delayed or shelved – exec

Source: ICIS News

2014/10/05

EPCA ’14: Half of US PDH projects to be delayed or shelved – exec(adds paragraph 5)

VIENNA (ICIS)--Only three to four of the announced propane dehydrogenation (PDH) projects in the US will likely get built in the immediate future, a Dow Chemical executive said on Sunday.

“In the US, there are a lot of announced PDH plants that are still questionable,” said Craig Barry, Dow’s business director for olefins in the US and Europe. He made his comments on the sidelines of the 48th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting.

Dow currently is building a 750,000 tonnes/year PDH plant in Freeport, Texas, that is scheduled to come online in mid-2015.

The project is one of eight that have been announced in the US – including a second project by Dow – as producers seek to make up for a decline in propylene production due to the increase in cracking lighter feedstocks.

PetroLogistics − now owned by Flint Hills Resources − has since withdrawn its plans to build a unit.

Dow’s second PDH project was announced in 2011 but has been talked little about since. Still, the US producer has not ruled out building it in the future.

Barry attributed the possibility of more than half of the current US PDH projects not being built in the near future to the costs associated with the plants, propylene derviative demand questions and assorted other risks.

PDH is a new technology for Dow, company executives have previously pointed out, and as such the producer is seeking to forge new territory before committing to further projects.

Barry’s belief that only three to four PDH plants will be built in the near term correlates to his doubts over talk about the US propylene market being long in the future.

“I’m one of the sceptics of that,” he said.

The EPCA meeting runs 5-7 October in Vienna.

The following lists the announced PDH plants:

Company

Capacity, tonnes

Site

Start-up

Dow Chemical

750,000 tonnes

Texas

Q2 2015

Ascend Performance Materials

1,173,000 tonnes

Texas

Q4 2015

Formosa Plastics

725,000 short tons

Texas

2017

Enterprise Products

750,000 tonnes

Texas

Q1 2016

Williams

500,000 tonnes

Alberta

Q2 2016

REXtac

300,000 tonnes

Texas

mid 2016

Dow Chemical

new plant

US

2018

Source: Companies, ICIS