Advances in exploration of shale oil and gas have opened new sources of oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) such as ethane, a key petrochemical feedstock.
A total of ten new ethane crackers are planned for the US – eight on the Gulf Coast, and two in the northeast. Construction is scheduled to begin as soon as this year. According to ICIS analysis, they will add 12.5 million metric tons of ethylene capacity per year.
In addition, ten expansion projects planned for existing cracking facilities will add 1.5 million metric tons of additional capacity, according to ICIS analysis.
- New projects may raise US ethylene capacity by 52%, PE by 47%,
ICIS, 16 January 2014.