Article: Taiyo Oil picks UOP technology to improve flexibility at Japan petrochemical plant

In an encouraging sign for reform of petrochemical production, Japanese company Taiyo Oil has adopted UOP and its Tatoray processTatoray is widely professed as a positive solution in cost-efficiency, speed and flexibility and is a system to look out for.

Honeywell’s UOP has been selected by Japan’s Taiyo Oil to supply technology and catalysts to improve operational flexibility and increase petrochemical production at the Shikoku complex in Ehime, Japan.

The plant will install UOP’s Tatoray process technology to allow it to boost yields of certain petrochemicals by more than 70%, and give the plant more flexibility to produce petrochemicals or gasoline as demand changes.

“Demand for petrochemicals in Asia is growing, while gasoline demand is expected to decrease due to stricter fuel specifications and increased demand for fuel-efficient vehicles,” said Pete Piotrowski, senior vice president and general manager of UOP’s process technology and equipment business.

“The Tatoray process will significantly increase mixed xylene and benzene production, allowing Taiyo to respond to the region’s growing petrochemical demand, and it will give them the operational flexibility to also produce high-quality gasoline as needed,” he added. “We look forward to continuing our longstanding relationship with Taiyo as we work to complete this project.”

UOP noted that it has worked with Taiyo for nearly 30 years, and has provided almost all of the process units for its Shikoku site.

The new Tatoray unit is expected to produce 300,000 tpy of mixed xylene and high-purity beneze, which will require no further processing. The unit is expected to start up in 2014.

The Tatoray process converts toluene and C9 aromatics to mixed xylenes and high-purity benzene without the need for sulfolane extraction, according to UOP officials. The process can more than double mixed xylene production from a given naphtha feedstock, while significantly reducing the overall cost of production, making it one of the most economical ways to increase xylene and benzene yields in an aromatics complex.

UOP says the latest-generation Tatoray catalysts have also demonstrated superior activity and stability in multiple commercial applications. These catalysts enable higher on-stream efficiency with minimum cracking and the lowest hydrogen consumption for petrochemical-grade benzene and mixed xylene production.

As of 2013, UOP has licensed more than 95 aromatics complexes, including 60 Tatoray units.

The full article is visible via the link below – By Pankaj Oswal


Article: Global Petrochemicals Market is Expected to Reach USD 791.05 Billion in 2018: Transparency Market Research

This is an extensive piece from the PR Newswire.  The article states that Transparency Market Research’s recent report states that the Compound Annual Growth Rate for the global petrochemicals market will rise by 6.7% each year until 2018.  This well outstrips inflation and would make the industry a sure and steady growth area for the next five years.  Interestingly, volume is only expected to rise 5.4% per year indicating that relative price per volume will rise in this time.

According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research ( “Petrochemicals Market by Product (Ethylene, Propylene, Butadiene, Benzene, Xylene, Toluene, Vinyls, Styrene and Methanol) Global and China Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2012  2018, the global petrochemicals market was valued at USD 472.06 billion in 2011 and is expected to reach USD 791.05 billion by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 6.7% from 2012 to 2018. In terms of volume, the global petrochemicals consumption was 436.86 million tons in 2011 and is expected to reach 627.51 million tons by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2012 to 2018.

Browse the full report at

Growing consumption from major end use industries including construction, packaging, transportation, textile, plastics, healthcare and so on coupled with favorable operating conditions mainly in the Middle East and Asia Pacific is expected to drive the global market for petrochemicals over the next five years. Government initiatives in India and China to set up petrochemical complexes in the region are also expected to fuel the market growth. The rapid exploration and development of unconventional gases such as shale gas is also expected to provide feedstock advantage to petrochemical producers. However, volatile raw material prices and growing environmental concerns regarding the production and usage of various petrochemicals are expected to be a key challenge for market participants. Regulatory intervention has resulted in the industry shifting focus towards developing bio-based alternatives for petrochemicals.

Ethylene dominated the petrochemical market and accounted for over 28% of the total consumption in 2011. Growing demand for polyethylene, a major derivative of ethylene, mainly from packaging industry is expected to boost the global market for ethylene over the forecast period. However, widening supply- demand gap due to capacity addition in the Middle East and Asia Pacific is expected to put pressure on ethylene prices, globally. In terms of volume, methanol is expected to be fastest growing petrochemical at an estimated CAGR of 10.3% from 2012 to 2018. The growth of methanol is largely driven by its emerging application in gasoline blending and conversion of methanol to olefins (MTO).

Related & Recently Published Reports by Transparency Market Research

China was the leading consumer of petrochemicals and accounted for over 25% of the global consumption in 2011. Along with being the largest market, China is also expected to be fastest growing market, at a CAGR of 6.7% from 2012 to 2018, owing its significant downstream processing capacity. Asia Pacific including China accounted for over 45% of the total demand in 2011. North American market for petrochemicals is expected to be driven by rapid development of shale gas in the U.S.

The global market for petrochemicals is highly fragmented in nature. Top ten companies accounted for just over 49% of the total petrochemicals market in 2011. BASF, Sinopec and Exxon Mobil were the largest petrochemical manufacturers and together accounted for nearly 20% of the total market share in 2011. Major industry participants have fully integrated operations from extraction of crude oil and natural gas to production of petrochemical derivatives. Some of the other players operating in the global petrochemical market include Chevron Phillips, Dow Chemical, Company, Ineos, LyondellBasell, National Petrochemical Co., PetroChina, SABIC, Shell Chemicals and Total among some other companies.

Related & Recently Published Reports by Transparency Market Research

This report segments the global petrochemicals market as follows:

Petrochemicals Market: Product Segment Analysis

  • Ethylene
    • Polyethylene
    • Ethylene oxide
    • Ethylene dichloride
    • Ethyl benzene
    • Other (including Alpha olefins, vinyl acetate, etc.)
  • Propylene
    • Polypropylene
    • Propylene oxide
    • Acrylonitrile
    • Cumene
    • Acrylic acid
    • Isopropanol
    • Other (including Polygas chemicals, oxo-chemicals, etc.)
  • Butadiene
    • Styrene-butadiene rubber
    • Butadiene rubber
    • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
    • Styrene-butadiene latex
    • Other (including Nitrile rubber, mechanical belts, etc.)
  • Benzene
    • Ethyl benzene
    • Cumene
    • Cyclohexane
    • Nitrobenzene
    • Alkyl benzene
    • Other (including Maleic anhydride, etc.)
  • Xylene
  • Toluene
    • Benzene
    • Xylenes
    • Solvents
    • Toluene di-isocyanate
    • Other (including Pesticides, drugs, nitro toluene, etc.)
  • Vinyls
  • Styrene
    • Polystyrene
    • Expandable polystyrene
    • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
    • Styrene-butadiene latex
    • Unsaturated polyester resins
    • Styrene-butadiene rubber
    • Other (including copolymer resins, etc.)
  • Methanol
    • Formaldehyde
    • Gasoline
    • Acetic acid
    • Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE)
    • Dimethyl ether
    • Methanol to olefins (MTO)
    • Other (including biodiesel, solvent, chloromethane, etc.

The full article is visible below – By Pankaj Oswal

Article: Global Petrochemical Prices Fell 5% in March on Weak Demand

A recent piece about the PGPI benchmarking of global average petrochemical prices falling 5% in March after a 6% increase in February.  This blog reported the increase then but it has been quickly undone.  This is due mostly to the decline in aromatics.  In particular, paraxylene fell 10% in the month, and toluene and benzine both fell 8% since the end of February and this had some effect on the PGPI.  Certain segments are volatile now and it’s an area to watch.

LONDON, April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Prices in the $3-trillion-plus global petrochemicals market fell 5% to $1,378 per metric ton (/mt) in March, according to the just-released monthly average of the Platts Global Petrochemical Index (PGPI), a benchmark basket of seven widely used petrochemicals. This followed a 6% increase in February.

On a year-over-year basis, petrochemical prices also were down 5% from the March 2012 average price of $1,445/mt, according to data published by Platts, a leading global energy, petrochemicals and metals information provider and a top source of benchmark price references.

Petrochemicals are used to make plastic, rubber, nylon and other consumer products and are utilized in manufacturing, construction, pharmaceuticals, aviation, electronics and nearly every commercial industry.

PLATTS GLOBAL PETROCHEMICAL INDEX IN DOLLARS PER METRIC TON The daily price reflected as a monthly average

        Mar-'13 Monthly Annual Mar-'12 Feb-'13 Jan-'13 Dec-'12 Nov-'12
                %       %
                Change  change
        $1,378  - 5%    - 5%   $1,445  $1,453  $1,425  $1,350  $1,323

The chart above shows the daily end-of-day Platts Global Petrochemical Index (PGPI) price in red and also displays the 20-day PGPI moving average (MA) in blue. If you have trouble viewing the graphic, visit this link: PGPI Averages

“Of the three groups of chemicals making up the Platts Global Petrochemical Index -aromatics, polymers and olefins – the aromatics posted the largest price decline in March,” said Jim Foster, Platts senior petrochemicals analyst. “Asian demand for xylenes wasn’t there last month, so toluene was not being converted to xylenes or benzene,” he explained. “Styrene plants were shut down, which resulted in length in the global benzene market.”

The average price of paraxylene was $1,472/mt in March, down 10% from the February level and marking the first decline since June 2012, when the average paraxylene price fell 16%. Toluene, which can be converted into xylene and benzene, fell 8% in March to $1,197/mt, on weakened Asian paraxylene demand.

Global benzene prices also posted an 8% decline in March, dropping to an average of $1,301/mt. Benzene is primary raw material input for styrene production. With several styrene plants shut during March for routine maintenance, demand for benzene declined.

Olefins prices were lower in March as downstream plastic demand ebbed and raw input costs dropped. The global propylene index in March fell 6% to an average price of $1,331/mt, following a February level of $1,411/mt. The price decline in propylene, which is used to produce polypropylene, also spurred a pull-back in the March global polypropylene price index, which slipped 3% to $1,528/mt.

Ethylene, the second olefin component of the PGPI, saw a 4% price index retreat in March to $1,349/mt, following the February average of $1,403/mt. Polyethylene, which is produced from ethylene, saw a similar price decline last month. It was down 3% to $1,538/mt.

Petrochemical prices moved counter to price trends in the global equity markets in March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was up 4% last month, while the London Stock Exchange Index (FTSE) edged up 1% and the Nikkei 225 jumped 7%.

To access a summary of the March performance of each of the seven key petrochemicals included in the PGPI, visit this link:

The PGPI reflects a compilation of the daily price assessments of physical spot market ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, paraxylene, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and polypropylene as published by Platts and is weighted by the three regions of Asia, Europe and the United States. Used as a price reference, a gauge of sector activity, and a measure of comparison for determining the profitability of selling a barrel of crude oil intact or refining it into products, the PGPI was first published by Platts in August 2007.

Published daily in a real-time news service Platts Petrochemical Alert and other Platts publications, the PGPI is anchored by Platts’ robust and long-established price assessment methodology and the firm’s 100-year history of energy price reporting.

Platts petrochemicals experts are available for media interviews. A sample list of experts may be found at the Platts Media Center. For more information on petrochemicals, visit the Platts website at

About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information and a premier source of benchmark prices for the physical and futures markets. Platts’ news, pricing, analytics, commentary and conferences help customers make better-informed trading and business decisions and help the markets operate with greater transparency and efficiency. Customers in more than 150 countries benefit from Platts’ coverage of the biofuels, carbon emissions, coal, electricity, oil, natural gas, metals, nuclear power, petrochemical, shipping and sugar markets. A division of The McGraw-Hill Companies MHP -0.21% , Platts is headquartered in New York with approximately 900 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide. Additional information is available at

About The McGraw-Hill Companies: The McGraw-Hill Companies, to be renamed McGraw Hill Financial (subject to shareholder approval), is a powerhouse in credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. Leading brands include: Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries.

The full article is visible via the link below – Pankaj Oswal