Speculative capacity is our estimate of any additional annualised net capacity additions that are likely in each region. This speculative capacity includes both new plant construction and expansions on existing units, and can also include the predicted closure of existing capacity.
Start-up refers to the commencing of continuous commercial operation at a new (or newly expanded) petrochemical plant. This Start-Up may be preceded by commissioning and contractual performance test runs.
A steam cracker is a fundamental process in the petrochemical industry providing a key linkage between refined products and petrochemical intermediates. The Steam Cracker uses a pyrolysis process to partially decompose hydro-carbon feeds, with steam acting as a diluent. The main product from a stream cracker is ethylene, however propylene and to a lesser extent benzene and butadiene are also produced in commercial quantities. Hydro-carbon feed varies by region, with ethane being the feed of choice where available, and naphtha popular in regions with developed refining facilities.
The term swing plant is used as a designation for petrochemical plants that are able to change product from one material to another without any great change in feedstock. LLDPE-HDPE swing units which can make either LLDPE or HDPE depending on operating conditions and catalyst are the most common form of swing plants.