Crude to chemicals is the obvious way forward

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24 March 2020

Crude to chemicals is the obvious way forward

Report summary

The 2009 US shale gas boom makes ethane cracker investments highly attractive especially when oil prices are high. China launched a new wave of refinery and petrochemical complex investment after the oil price collapsed in 2014-15. Examples include Hengli Petrochemical and Zhejiang Petrochemical, which have built modern crude to chemicals (COTC) complexes, which we refer to as second generation. So, between a US ethane-based cracker and second generation COTC integrated cracker, which is more competitive? In this insight, we examine the competitiveness of Hengli ethylene cracker, assuming all refined products and aromatics are co-products, and the overall attractiveness of the Hengli investment.

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