US ethylene industry to expand 35% by 2017
The ongoing shale gas revolution is boosting prospects for the US ethylene sector, which could raise its capacity by more than a third by 2017, according to a new report. Strong ethane production has helped to lower prices and made the US petrochemicals industry more competitive.
The ongoing shale revolution will guide the US ethylene
industry surge in the near future, growing by more than a third
by 2017, according to a new report from business
intelligence group GlobalData.
According to Thursday's
report, US ethylene capacity dropped from 27.089 million tpy in
2000 to an estimated 26.137 million tpy in 2012.
However, increased investments in the industry will see
this figure jump to 35.048 million tpy by 2017 an
increase of just under 35%.
In correlation with the recent surge in shale gas output, the
production of natural gas liquids (NGLs) has increased
significantly, the report notes. Ethane, a hydrocarbon almost exclusively used in petrochemical production, is a major
component of NGLs and is cracked to produce ethylene.
In response, investors have been keen to be a part of an
ethylene industry on the rise, and many major US ethylene
producers are investigating the possibility of bringing new
plants online with capacities of more than 1 million
tpy in the near future.
Strong ethane production has also lowered prices and made the
US petrochemicals industry much more
competitive than in previous years, the GlobalData report
Five years ago, the US was one of the most expensive places to
produce ethylene, but the ethane-based US petrochemicals industry is now in a
better position than the naphtha-based petrochemicals industries of Europe and Asia-Pacific, and second
only to the Middle East in terms of production economy.
For more details on the GlobalData report, click here.