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Chemical Week Magazine :: Cover Story

One Quarter of Europe’s Cracker Capacity Could Close

8:31 AM MDT | March 26, 2010 | Ian Young

The eastward shift in global petrochemical production to the Mideast and Asia, combined with the effects of the economic crisis, is likely to take a heavy toll on the petchem industry in Europe. A recent study by KPMG estimates that capacity being developed in other regions will render 14 of Europe’s 43 steam crackers uneconomic by 2015 and that these plants could close. It would mean the loss of 26% of total cracker capacity in Europe, KPMG says. “While new plants [in the Mideast and Asia] are typically in the lowest position on the global cost curve...

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