2019 European steam cracker outages review

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16 November 2018

2019 European steam cracker outages review

Report summary

Wood Mackenzie Chemicals currently assesses that the European ethylene industry has reached top-of-cycle conditions in 2017/2018. As we look forward to 2019, we see a softening in European nameplate capacity utilisation rates of around 1.5 percentage points from the 2018 peak of 90%. Despite a reduced nameplate capacity utilisation rate in Europe next year, our expectations are that the market will still feel tight through 2019. This is primarily driven by a large amount of planned steam cracker outages taking place throughout the spring and autumn turnaround seasons. Planned capacity losses due to essential maintenance work are expected to be higher than those seen in recent years. Effective ethylene utilisation rates in 2019, for those assets that do run, are likely to remain above 95%. This insight attempts to compare the expected level of European outages in 2019 relative to history back to 2010 and also provides a current list of expected steam cracker outages.

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