Switching gears on olefins production?
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In the past, China has seen rapid rises in both ethylene supply and demand. Its supply has been dominated by steam crackers, which accounted for 98% of total supply in 2010. Demand growth was robust at 7% between 2010 and 2016, but it’s developing much faster than supply.
To meet its increasing demand, China needs other sources, such as coal- and methanol-based olefins (CTO/MTO). This new technology makes use of China’s abundant coal reserves and domestic and imported methanol resources. Significantly, it also reduces China’s dependency on imports of olefins and their derivatives.
In 2010, China started its first CTO unit in Inner Mongolia with DMTO technology. In the past six years, China’s CTO and MTO production capacity increased from 1% of the country’s total olefins production capacity to 17% by year-end 2016. By 2025, we expect this share to increase further to 29%.
As China’s CTO and MTO aspirations continue, how economically competitive will they be?
How will they affect Chinese olefin prices? And how do they compare with other production routes globally?
Our China’s coal- and methanol-based olefins study delves into the intricate details and its effects on the global market.