ICIS Presentations during APIC 2017

Over the course of APIC 2017, ICIS experts presented on several hot topics, challenges and opportunities facing petrochemical market players. We have made these presentation slides available for you to download, including:


Accelerated changes: new scenarios for global refining and petrochemicals industries, and the role of China

By: Stefano Zehnder, Joseph Chang, John Richardson

APIC Seminar Presentation

Examine the past, present and future of the petrochemical industry amid changing trading patterns, economic and political developments, among others. Presentation during Day 1 of APIC 2017, ICIS market experts covered all of the following:

  • Climate change and pollution concerns - the impact on refining and petrochemicals industries
  • Uncertain demand and trade flow patterns
  • China at a turning point: The impact of economic reforms on Asian and global economies
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Delicately tweaking China polyolefin sector sustainability to Trump US export surge

By: Amber Liu

China Polyolefins Presentation
  • Details on the how the US shale gas boom is fuelling massive ethylene and polyethylene (PE) capacity expansions
  • The timing of capacity additions and how the fall in crude oil has affected the timeline for some projects
  • US chemical company strategies and expectations from the CEO level
  • How the expansion in US capacity looks to alter trade flows globally for chemicals such as PE, with a focus on the impact on Asia
  • Will the new Trump administration in the US impact global trade and other regulations?
  • What are the implications for global chemicals?
  • What other chemicals in the US are benefitting from the shale boom (propylene derivatives such as toluene di-isocyanate (TDI), for example), with a look at whether that will lead to greater exports of other products in the future
  • Global macroeconomic backdrop in the midst of this surge in US petrochemical capacity
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Survival of the fittest – are the non-traditional olefins and polyolefins routes sustainable in the low-oil, low-naphtha environment?

By: Regan Hartnell

Survival of the fittest Presentation

Naphtha crackers are back in favour again. It is seen as a more risk-averse investment as it has more output streams to mitigate a single-product cyclical behaviour. With the global market moving towards more gas and renewable-based energy, naphtha is also seen as a more appropriate long-term petrochemical feedstock.

Most coal-to-olefins (CTO), methanol-to-olefins (MTO) and propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant investments were justified during the high-oil price scenario, which would no longer be the case. In fact, some market views are that oil is unlikely to hit even $80/bbl.

Demand for coal, on the other hand, has also surged due to Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21); petrochemicals will be the likely usage outlet. Prospects for renewables remain favourable in light of the growing awareness of the impact of global warming.

Should one continue to invest in such non-traditional routes in making olefins? Players in the Middle East, notably Iranians, are certainly trying; but Chinese players are eager to keep CTO alive.

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The road ahead for Asia’s styrene and feedstocks

By: Clive Ong

Asia's Styrene Feedsctocks
  • Recent developments in the Asian styrene monomer (SM) market, including price trends, demand/supply dynamics and near-term outlook
  • Relationship between SM and key feedstock benzene, including margins, benzene capacity growth versus SM demand growth
  • Rising demand for ethylene from new standalone start-ups
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Asia vinyls market review and the revival of China as an export player

By: Kite Chong

Asia vinyls market review

In the past few years, China went from being a huge importer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to a net exporter. However, in late 2016, China unexpectedly shifted back to become a net importer. What caused this change and will this continue in 2017?

The presentation will also take a closer look at the repercussions of the renewed Chinese import demand on India – currently the largest global consumer – and on global trade flows.

  • Demand/supply fundamentals in Asia, with a special focus on China and India, including factors that will shape the outlook
  • Global trade flows from an Asia perspective
  • How will India compete with China for supply?
  • What are the opportunities for sellers outside Asia?
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Gas or coal-to-olefins (CTO) – will it ever work in the current low-oil price environment?

By: Bala Ramani

Gas or coal-to-olefins (CTO)
  • The abundance of gas led to the idea of value addition to chemicals other than it being used only as a fuel
  • The CTO process was championed by China in the earlier high-oil price environment but the country’s attempts to be carbon neutral have been the dark cloud hanging over this industry
  • The demand for coal as a fuel has peaked and coal remains in abundance
  • The drop in crude oil prices to current levels puts the processing of crude or shale/tight oils in favour
  • Will gas-to-chemical and coal-to-chemical routes ever be sustainable alternatives for the petrochemical industry?
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Exploring the intertwining relationship between propylene oxide (PO) and polyether polyols

By: Matthew Chong

propylene oxide (PO) and polyether polyols
  • Propylene oxide (PO) and polyols demand/supply forecast in the coming years
  • Plant capacity expansions – analysing the changing share in PO technology production processes
  • Proliferation of integrated polyurethane (PU) chain facilities – what it means to standalone polyol producers
  • What will be the impact of Sadara Chemical’s new plant on global trade flows
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