China boosts ethylene production

Despite slowing global economies and decreasing chemical prices, the Chinese government has decided to increase ethylene production. The State Economic Trade Commission (Beijing,
China) maintains that demand for ethylene in China will increase 8.5% per year with an expected yearly demand of 15 million tons by 2005, an increase of 40%. China produced 4.7 million tons in 2000 and plans to increase yearly capacity to 9 million tons by 2005. China’s “Tenth Five-Year Plan” (2001-2005) for national economic growth proposes that if China is successful in increasing its production capacity, then 60% of the projected Chinese ethylene demand will be satisfied. In order to achieve the goal of doubling production capacity, China will continue to expand and add new production units. China Petrochemical Corporation (SINOPEC) (Beijing, China) and Petrochina (Beijing, China), who are responsible for 80% of the ethylene production in China, will complete nine expansion projects at existing chemical complexes totalling approximately 1.54 million tons per year in additional capacity. These expansions are scheduled to come online between late 2001 through 2003.

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