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New petrochemical capacities set to give tough competition
03
Nov '08
Production capacity of petrochemicals is expected to rise drastically in the last quarter of 2008 and by first half of 2009 in Asia, Middle East and Saudi Arabia in particular. All these new capacities are expected to give worldwide petrochemical producing countries a run for their money.

Bulk of the investments in this vital textile raw material input is concentrated in Saudi Arabia and more so at Jubail and Yanbu in that country.

With the number of polypropylene capacities being put up, the production of the product is also expected to nearly double in the Middle East. A few among these is the 500,000 tons per annum Saudi-European Petrochemicals in Al-Jubail, expected to come on line in last quarter of 2008 and the 420,000 tons per annum Teldene company in Yanbu.

Saudi European Petrochemical Company a division of SABIC is also planning to open a 500,000 tons per annum at Jubail by end-2008 and also slated to go online is the 200,000 tons per annum Saudi Polyolefin's Co in Al-Jubail, both to manufacture polypropylene.

For instance, the first phase of the joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemicals of Japan, to manufacture 1.3 million tons per annum of ethylene and 900,000 tons per annum of propylene is expected to go on-stream by the end of this year at an estimated cost of US $10 billion.

Apart from the above other downstream plants in the pipeline are three plants of 300,000 tons per annum each to manufacture Polyethylene, a 200,000 tons per annum Propylene oxide plant, 600,000 tons per annum Ethylene Glycol unit and two plants of 350,000 tons per annum each to produce Polypropylene.

The JV of Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo also have lined up additional investments of $4-5 billion to manufacture intermediates and other downstream products. Tasnee Petrochemicals is also on the verge of starting its 1 million tons per annum ethylene capacity plant.

Along with these and other capacities across Asia and the Middle East, there is a big possibility of markets of Europe, North America, China and Japan losing their pre-dominance for one of the most important feed stocks of the textile industry.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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