Ethylene margins decline, capacity additions slow in 2002

Global ethylene capacity growth experienced a significant slowdown in 2002. Last year saw only 2.4 million tonnes/year (tpy) of net additions, compared with an increase of 6.2 million tpy in 2001, according to the latest ethylene survey. Click here to enlarge imageFig. 1 shows that this is the lowest net addition of capacity since 1993.Capacity as of Jan. 1, 2003, was 109.4 million tpy, an increase from a worldwide capacity of 107.0 million tpy as of Jan. 1, 2002.About 2.9 million tpy of new capacity came online, and roughly 470,000 tpy of capacity shut down during 2002.As in 2001, ethylene margins suffered from an overabundance of supply. Coupled with high feedstock prices, the excess c...

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