June 2003

Trends and Resources

HP Impact: Global ethylene: feeding the giants

The steam cracker remains the fundamental unit of the global petrochemical industry, and its key product - ethylene - the most important base feedstock. What is becoming increasingly cl..

Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The steam cracker remains the fundamental unit of the global petrochemical industry, and its key product - ethylene - the most important base feedstock. What is becoming increasingly clear is that the new steam crackers will only exceptionally be built in the petrochemical "old world" of the US, West Europe and Japan. Today, these three regions account for 60% of world capacity. In the period to 2010, no new crackers are expected in these regions (bar one possible scrap-and-build project in the US and one idea in Western Europe). In fact, there may be permanent closures in all three areas. The petrochemical "old world" w

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