March 28, 2011 | Rebecca Coons and Robert Westervelt in San Antonio
Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPChem) says it is conducting a feasibility study for a world-scale ethane cracker and ethylene derivatives plant at one of its U.S. Gulf Coast sites using cost-advantaged feedstock from shale gas.
Enthusiasm and attendance are higher as the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA) opens the 36th annual International Petrochemical Conference (IPC) in San Antonio. “Overall, enthusiasm and energy for the industry is apparent, as supply and demand are increasing while global GDP is rising,” says NPRA president Charles Drevna.
Ineos Oxide, an Ineos subsidiary, says it is considering plans to expand its ethylene oxide (EO) and ethylene oxide derivatives capacity on the U.S. Gulf Coast as part of a larger strategy to grow its global business over the next few years.
By 2015 the market share of polyester fiber is expected to increase to more than half of world demand, analysts say, in a long-term trend that puts fundamental macroeconomics under a positive outlook for the entire supply chain from toluene through xylenes.
Petrochemical makers gathering for NPRA’s annual International Petrochemical Meeting (IPC), in San Antonio, TX on March 27-29, have seen the economic and regulatory environment improve since last year.
A renewed U.S. ethane advantage has lifted the fortunes of North American petrochemical makers. A surge in supply from unconventional gas sources has increased the availability and reduced the cost of ethane and other natural gas liquid (NGL) feedstocks.