Transformation plan for the Future petrochemical sector

Energy Trading , Manufacturing , Oil & Gas , Petrochemicals , Power   |   02nd February 2021

Petrochemicals 2025: Three zones to overlook the surf in petrochemical potential maturity.  

The global petrochemical sector proceeds to develop exponentially as strengthening the nation’s market for petrochemical products extends to increase. The “International Energy Agency (IEA) Oil 2018” report prophesies that 

  • We may observe an increment of approx 25% in oil consumption in 2023, this % in number will reach approximately 1.7 million barrels per day for petrochemical feedstocks.  
  • The petrochemical sector will account for one-third of oil demand growth to 2030, rising to almost half by 2050. 
  • According to it, the production of essential plastics will rise more than double between 2010 and 2050.


Diverse nations will abide reliant on petrochemical imports, while others are funding to meet domestic chemical demand. 

Base chemicals product scope that is competent to transform the Energy industry is a phase of Volume- Million Tons, Revenue about USD Million during the interval- 2016 – 2027

  • Ethylene
    • Polyethylene
    • Ethylene oxide
    • EDC
    • Ethylbenzene
    • Others (including alpha-olefins, vinyl acetate, etc.)
  • Propylene
    • Polypropylene
    • Propylene oxide
    • Acrylonitrile
    • Cumene
    • Acrylic acid
    • Isopropanol
    • Other
  • Butadiene
    • SB Rubber
    • Butadiene rubber
    • ABS
    • SB latex
    • Others (nitrile rubber, mechanical belts, etc.)
  • Benzene
    • Ethylbenzene
    • Phenol/cumene
    • Cyclohexane
    • Nitrobenzene
    • Alkylbenzene
    • Other (including alkyl benzene, maleic anhydride)
    • Xylene
  • Toluene
    • Benzene
    • Xylenes
    • Solvents
    • TDI
    • Others (including pesticides, drugs, nitro toluene, etc.)
  • Methanol
    • Formaldehyde
    • Gasoline
    • Acetic acid
    • MTBE
    • Dimethyl ether
    • MTO/MTP
    • Other 

The future of the petrochemical industry will be determined by multiple factors such as: 

  1. supply/demand factors, 
  2. plastics recycling, regulations, feedstock costs,
  3. partnerships/mergers/acquisitions, digitalization, etc. 


The topmost growing market station is the Asia-Pacific territory which will coincide with billions of bucks of new petrochemical production potential in Asia, the Middle East, and the US. These three spheres are spending massively to encourage petrochemical processing capacity to fill the demand. 

A categorization on active refining project market share in Asia-Pacific territory are following below: 

  • Africa—6% (29 projects)
  • Asia-Pacific—34% (158 projects)
  • Canada—1% (7 projects)
  • Western Europe—5% (22 projects)
  • Eastern Europe, Russia, and the CIS—12% (55 projects)
  • Latin America—6% (28 projects)
  • Middle East—13% (63 projects)
  • US—23% (106 projects). 


According to the IEA petrochemicals report, nearly all regions, except for Europe, will increase the production of primary chemicals by 2050.” 

The most substantial capability increase is perceived in the Middle East and Asia. The Middle East is projected to enhance the production of high-value chemicals, ammonia, and methanol from nearly 70 Million Metric Tons Per Year (MMtpy) to larger than 150 MMtpy next 2050. 

Transformation plan of Petrochemical section to improve business benefits:

Nearly all Middle Eastern countries are financing new petrochemical production capacity to moderate the confidence in crude oil export revenues.

The region has already expanded production capacity, driven by Saudi Arabia, and more investments have been proclaimed. The Asia-Pacific region’s petrochemical buildout is determined to grow by nearly 200 MMtpy to nearly 500 MMtpy over 2050. 

  1. The transit via refining and petrochemical integration is a primary center of several operators around the world, especially in Asia. The capability to distribute feedstocks permits producers to manufacture petrochemical products more efficiently. 
  2. To help lessen imports and to meet robust demand, multiple Asia-Pacific countries continue investing in the enlargement and debottlenecking of petrochemical systems, as well as the formation of basic petrochemical networks. These intense-capital investments mean progress integration between refining and petrochemical dexterities to boost efficiency and profit. 


As we all know, almost half of all petrochemical projects in the Pacific-Asia region run in  China. Whereas, India has also achieved the second position, with a 15% market share in active petrochemical projects. 

What are the impacts on electrifying transportation launches in the Petrochemical sector?

In acknowledgment of the electrifying transportation, almost all countries in the Middle East have declared money investments in fresh downstream processing capacity, particularly in the production of petrochemicals. The area has the greatest value profit in ethylene production, and many nations are developing or engineering to create: 

  1.  Mixed-feed crackers 
  2. Ethylene derivatives
  3. Ammonia
  4. Urea, and other petrochemical products. 


Over an era 2020, EEXCOM will be reporting some latest interesting information about competition & will be planning for the petrochemicals sector by counties such as:

  • Saudi Arabia is the chief in new petrochemical potential investments. 
  • The United Kingdom proposes to triple petrochemical production capacity from 12 MMtpy in 2016 to 34 MMtpy by 2030. This realm will fulfill this aim by combining petrochemical space to subsisting refineries and making grassroots plants. 
  • Manifold other countries are investing massively in domestic yield. Significant outlines include:
    • Kuwait—Olefins 3-Aromatics 2 project
    • Oman—Liwa plastics project
    • United Arab Emirates—Ruwais refining and petrochemical park, including the construction of Borouge 4
    • Qatar—Ras Laffan petrochemical complex (proposed)
    • Iran—Mokran petrochemical complex
    • Iraq—Nebras petrochemical complex.
  • Due to the shale gas inflation, the US has observed a revival in its domestic petrochemical industry. Affordable, promptly available shale gas feedstock has recognized the nation to mature as one of the world’s lowest-cost ethylene yielders. In accomplishment, the US is producing millions of tons of supplementary ethylene and ethylene derivatives stock capacity. 

The petrochemicals industry majorly depends upon the automotive, oil, and gas sectors.

Transportation electrification and extended fuel competencies in the latest vehicles will remain to reduce petrochemical combustible order. According to the latest trends, the country council’s commands to raise vehicle fuel efficiency and minimize carbon dioxide (CO2) eruptions are willing to this negative risk for fuel needs while short-term governing doubts persist.

Meantime, the shale gas reconstruction triggered a tide of low-cost production of feedstocks, fundamentally natural gas liquids (NGLs) or ethane.

Government magnetism to think on petrochemical business future plans
  1. The Middle East and China are forming the future of petrochemicals with distinct imperatives. For example, The Saudi government is pushing for a more vital presence in the downstream industries, especially petrochemicals, since it wants the country to overcome an excess dependency on crude oil.
  2. The second example, in terms of official purposes, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) inducted a bunker fuel directive to demote sulfur substances in marine fuels (mainly heavy/residue oil from factories) in 2020. This order is compelling factories to generate more exceeding ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel for shipping freights.
  3. Clients of petrochemicals should be more critical as the ripple consequence of IMO 2020 evolves into association with their business.
  4. Expanded factory runs may increase the supply of naphtha – an essential petrochemical feedstock – over as full as 150,000 b/d globally in 2020, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics. Nevertheless, refiners maximizing average distillate production will give a shorter gasoline supply, it causes a clear draw approaching naphtha into gasoline blending and apart from petrochemicals, rising prices for petrochemical users.
    In turn that could be expected to shift steam cracker feed preferences away from naphtha and towards LPG or ethane.

Why need to think:

Petrochemical commodities exist everywhere and are essential to advanced civilizations. They constitute plastics, fertilizers, packaging, clothing, digital devices, medical equipment, detergents, tyres, and numerous others. They are similarly discovered in multiple parts of the new energy system, including solar panels, wind turbine blades, batteries, thermal insulation for fabricating, and electronic transportation parts.


The Future of Petrochemicals necessitates close attention to the outgrowths of a thriving interest for these products, and whatever we can begin to hasten a clean energy development for the petrochemical industry. 

"Our economies are heavily dependent on petrochemicals, but the sector receives far less attention than it deserves. Petrochemicals are one of the key blind spots in the global energy debate, especially given the influence they will exert on future energy trends." Statement by Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA

Petrochemicals exist everywhere

  • Plastic packaging for food and other commercial products made of a spectrum of petrochemical products, including polyethylene and polystyrene.
  • Globally, more than half of ammonia is converted to urea, which is mainly used as a fertilizer to improve crop yields and boost food production.
  • Synthetic rubber is a main component of tyres for cars, trucks, and bicycles. It is essentially acquired from the petrochemical butadiene. 
  • Various laundry detergents and parts of clothing in our washing engines are reaped from petrochemicals, such as surfactants and polyester fiber. 

Developing economies lead to growth

Abundant progress in recycling and trying to use clean energy is demanded to take place. These trials will be exceeded by growing petrochemicals markets distinctly, progressing their fragments of fossil-fuel consumption and traditional sources. With the difficulty in finding alternatives, the petrochemical sector is a rising new opportunity for many relevant businesses to robust the overall demand growth.

To know more about the Petrochemical sector advancement, Register today your business profile with EEXCOM and Connect with The Global Energy Business Community.


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