Fast Market Research recommends "Australia Petrochemicals Report 2013" from Business Monitor International, now available
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/01/2013 -- The Australian petrochemicals industry is being sidelined as investment pours into gas liquefaction, which will be the focus of downstream developments over the next five years, according to BMI's latest Australia Petrochemicals Report.
The future of the Australian petrochemicals industry depends on exploiting its full potential in ethane feedstock, which can be achieved through increased output in the purification of gas for liquefaction. Naphtha streams are unlikely to increase substantially due to the declining growth in oil production. We are assuming oil production will be 465,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2013 and then fall to 456,700b/d by 2017. However, gas production growth will outpace demand growth and we see export potential rising from an estimated 20.37bn cubic metres (bcm) in 2012 to over 90bcm by 2017.
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Domestic and leading international companies are investing heavily in gas production and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to help offset declining oil output, but there is little interest in using the country's ethane reserves and adding value to production through basic chemicals. The main downstream growth area is fertilisers. India's Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals says it is working towards setting up a 300,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) technical ammonium nitrate (TAN) plant in the state of South Australia, with completion possible in mid-2014 at the earliest. Yara International is planning a 330,000tpa TAN plant to be operated by Burrup Holdings under a 50:50 joint venture (JV) between the two partners; Yara has a minority shareholding in Burrup Holdings. However, this is likely to be delayed pending the outcome of a disagreement between Burrup Holdings' majority shareholders; the businessman Pankaj Oswal objects to the JV on the basis it will harm the value of his shares.
Ethylene capacity is likely to be 550,000tpa in 2013, while polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) capacities are likely to remain relatively static at 420,000tpa and 355,000tpa respectively. However, in 2010 polystyrene (PS) production in Australia ended following Huntsman's decision to close its facilities, which included 30,000tpa of PS capacity.
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