The Middle East offers significant feedstock advantages, along with being strategically positioned for export opportunities. Engineering, procurement and construction costs continue to escalate, but several projects are due to come onstream in this year and the next few years. These facilities will thrive on export markets as domestic demand within these nations continues to remain low, and very shortly, the region is progressing to become one of the most important suppliers of PP. New capacities coming on stream in the Middle East are expected to exert pressures on the European market.
PP producers in Europe, in a bid to maintain a viable position in the changing marketplace, are mulling restructuring in their production; and a few key players are considering production cut backs.
INEOS Polyolefins plans to bring forward its plans to shutter permanently, its 175,000 tpa PP plant at Bamble in Norway from end of year to end of September. INEOS will also shut its 165,000 tpa PP unit in Sarralbe in France at the end of the year.
Total Petrochemicals has planned a 60,000 tpa increase in PP capacity at Feluy, Belgium. Debottlenecking of line 3 is expected to be completed in Q3 this year, raising total capacity at the site from 860,000 tpa to 920,000 tpa.