Global ethylene capacity is expected to experience considerable growth between 2017 and 2026, increasing from 180 million tpy in 2017 to more than 270 million tpy in 2026, led by China and the US, according to GlobalData, a data and analytics company.
The company’s report reveals that around 140 planned and announced plants are scheduled to come online, predominantly in Asia and the Middle East, during the forecast period.
Within Asia, China plans to add a total capacity of approximately 22.2 million tpy by 2026 with the help of 36 planned and announced ethylene plants. CAPEX for these plants is US$43 billion. Major capacity additions will be from Exxon Mobil Corp.
Dayanand Kharade, Oil & Gas Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “China will dominate the global ethylene market in the mid-term with both the biggest number of new projects and the largest absolute capacity expansion driven by economic growth. The country is set to build around 36 ethylene planned plants in the forecast period.”
China is forecast to account for 54% of the Asian capacity addition and 25% of the global capacity addition during the outlook period.
GlobalData identifies the US as the second largest in terms of ethylene capacity additions with a capacity of around 15.9 million tpy from 17 planned and announced ethylene plants. The country plans to spend US$27.24 billion during the forecast period. Major capacity additions will be from Formosa Plastics Group.
The Middle East follows in terms of ethylene capacity additions. Within the region, Iran has 17 planned and announced ethylene plants with a total capacity of 10.6 million tpy by 2026. CAPEX for these plants totals US$20.45 billion over the next nine years.
Kharade adds: “For the US and Iran, the low-cost abundant supply of natural gas is the primary reason for the rush in ethylene capacity additions.”
In the Former Soviet Union (FSU), most ethylene capacity additions will be in Russia, with capacity of approximately 7.2 million tpy by 2026. CAPEX for these plants totals US$14.36 billion by 2026. Sibur Holding is the top company accounting for the major capacity additions in Russia.
In South America, the major ethylene capacity additions will be in Brazil, with planned and announced capacity additions of around 1.3 million tpy by 2026. CAPEX for these plants totals US$2.98 billion. In Africa, Egypt plans to spend US$4.86 billion and add a capacity of roughly 1.7 million tpy, which is expected to come onstream by 2026.
The report states that Saudi Arabian Oil Co and Exxon Mobil Corp. lead among the key companies in terms of global capacity additions, with an estimated capacity addition of 4.4 million tpy (seven plants) and 3.9 million tpy (four plants), respectively.