June 2014

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HP Boxscore Construction Analysis: US methanol—the resurgence of an industry

The latest resurgence of the US petrochemical industry is reflected in the planned construction of new ethylene and methanol (MeOH) capacities throughout the country.

Nichols, L., Hydrocarbon Processing

The US petrochemical sector is in the midst of one of the largest industry expansions to ever occur in North America. Cheap, readily available shale gas is sparking a surge in the construction of new processing capacity. Total announced capital investments in capacity expansions, upgrades, plant restarts and greenfield facilities have climbed to over $100 billion (B). No greater example of this resurgence of the US petrochemical industry is better illustrated than in the construction of new ethylene and methanol (MeOH) capacities (Table 1).   One of the largest impacts in the US will be in new ethylene capacity. Companies such as Axiall, Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPChem), Dow

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