New pattern of global ethylene market is taking shape

wallpapers Industry 2020-12-09

Ethylene plays an important role in the national economy.

Its production scale and level has become one of the important indicators to measure the development level of a country's petrochemical industry.

Due to the light weight of ethylene raw materials and the rise of new production processes, the global ethylene market structure is undergoing profound changes.

By 2020, new ethylene plants will be mainly located in North America and China.

The common raw materials of ethylene include naphtha, ethane, propane, butane and coal / methanol.

Among them, naphtha cracking is an important source of ethylene.

Before 2005, the global ethylene production by naphtha cracking reached about 55% of the total ethylene production.

However, the shale gas revolution in North America has led to the rapid development of ethane cracking.

By 2014, naphtha cracking accounted for 46%, and ethane cracking accounted for 35%, becoming the second largest source of ethylene.

Propane and butane cracking also developed rapidly, accounting for 14%.

In the next few years, with the release of new capacity in North America, the proportion of ethane cracking will further increase.

By 2020, both naphtha and ethane cracking routes in the global ethylene supply will be about 40%.

The rapid development of ethane cracking is driven by the advantage of raw material cost, especially at the stage of high crude oil price.

As early as around 2000, the prices of natural gas and crude oil, if calculated in calorific value units, were about $5 / million BTU, that is, the price of crude oil was about $30 / barrel.

But after 2005, the two price trends began to deviate.

Since 2007, the rapid development of shale gas in North America has greatly reduced the price of natural gas and significantly increased the supply of ethane.

By 2014, the price of natural gas in North America remained below US $5 / million BTU, while the price of crude oil dropped sharply in the second half of 2014, but the average price was still significantly higher than that of natural gas.

China's coal chemical industry is also becoming an important source of ethylene.

The price trend of raw coal is relatively stable, which is obviously lower than that of crude oil.

In the next few years, with the recovery of demand, crude oil prices are expected to pick up gradually, while the prices of natural gas and coal are expected to remain relatively low due to oversupply.

In the next five years, due to the completion and operation of the new ethane cracking unit, the demand for ethane will further increase.

Coupled with the increase of ethane export volume, the price of ethane in North America will gradually be higher than that of natural gas, but its growth rate will be lower than that of crude oil, so the price advantage of ethane will continue to maintain.

Investment will be concentrated in North America and China, where raw material costs generally account for 70% of ethylene production costs.

The price trend of raw materials will lead the investment direction of global ethylene production capacity.

Investors are generally optimistic about ethane cracking and coal chemical industry, which have obvious cost advantages, in order to obtain a higher rate of return on investment.

Therefore, by 2020, new ethylene plants in the world will be mainly in North America and China.

Since 2007, the cost advantage of ethane cracking in North America began to show, investors began to increase investment in such units, and the capacity and output of ethane cracking units in North America developed rapidly.

In 2014, the ethylene production from ethane cracking in North America exceeded 20 million tons, accounting for 74% of the regional ethylene supply.

By 2020, it is expected that seven ethane cracking units will be completed and put into operation in the North American market, with an additional annual capacity of 8.

7 million tons, including 1 million tons of Braskem and idesa joint venture, 1.

5 million tons of Chevron Philippe, 1.

5 million tons of Dow, 1.

5 million tons of ExxonMobil, 1.

15 million tons of Formosa Plastics, 1.

55 million tons of Sasol and 500 thousand tons of sinyue.

At that time, the proportion of ethane cracking in North America will be further increased to 82%.

In addition, SABIC and Ineos also plan to import ethane from North America for ethylene production in European units.

From 2014 to 2019, the average annual growth rate of ethylene production from ethane cracking in Western Europe will reach 13%.

Sincerer has also imported ethane from North America for ethylene production.

At the same time, three ethane cracking units will be built and put into operation in the Middle East, including the 1.

5 million ton unit of Saudi Arabia sadar chemical company and two units of Iran, with an additional capacity of about 3 million tons.

Among them, sadar 1.

5 million tons of ethylene plant is expected to be completed and put into operation in the fourth quarter of this year.

The sharp decline of crude oil price has affected the profitability of ethane cracking unit in the short term, and delayed the progress of some new units.

But in the long run, the cost advantage of ethane cracking unit is still obvious.

Compared with naphtha cracking, China's coal chemical industry route also has obvious cost advantages.

As of 2014, China's ethylene production capacity of coal to olefins and methanol to olefins exceeded 2 million tons.

Low oil prices have not dampened China's enthusiasm for investment in coal chemical industry.

In the next five years, the total ethylene production capacity of coal chemical industry will exceed 9 million tons, and the output will exceed 25% of the total amount of ethylene in China, becoming one of the most important sources of ethylene in the Chinese market.

Competition among different processes will be more intense.

The yield of ethylene from naphtha can reach about 80% by-product pyrolysis.

Therefore, the trend of light raw materials not only directly affects the ethylene market, but also brings a great impact on ethylene by-products including propylene, C4 and aromatics.

Taking propylene and butadiene as an example, in naphtha cracking, 530 kg of propylene and 180 kg of butadiene will be produced for each ton of ethylene.

But in ethane cracking, only 36 kg propylene and 25 kg butadiene are produced.

The light weight of raw materials has an obvious impact on the supply of ethylene by-products.

In order to meet the increasing demand, there are more and more non-traditional production processes in recent years, such as propane dehydrogenation unit, methanol to propylene and olefin conversion unit.

The supply of ethylene by-products is diversified.

(source: China Chemical Industry News).


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