China may be getting the attention, but there are plenty of resin expansion projects going on in other parts of the world.
Several projects are outlined in recent reports from Houston consulting firm Chemical Market Resources Inc. Here's a region-by-region look at some of them:
National Petrochemical Co. of Iran is building a 660 million-pound capacity low density polyethylene plant in Sanandaj, Iran. The plant, operated by NPC's Kurdistan Petrochemical Co. unit, is set to open in 2008.
A Japanese-Saudi Arabian partnership also has formed Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co., a 50-50 joint venture between state-owned Saudi Aramco of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd., of Tokyo. The venture will build a petrochemical complex in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia, that will include unspecified capacity for high density PE, linear LDPE, polypropylene and other chemical products. Construction is set to begin in early 2006.
In Map Ta Phut, Thailand, PTT Polyethylene Co. Ltd. is building an LDPE plant similar in size to the NPC project, that will open in 2008. Earlier this year, PTT opened three LDPE plants in China with total capacity of more than 1.3 billion pounds. Both NPC and PTT plan to use Lupotech PE technology licensed from Basell NV of Hoofddorp, the Netherlands.
Titan Petchem Sdn Bhd also is adding 220 million pounds of PP capacity, in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia, by the end of 2007.
Reliance Industries Ltd. will spend almost $1 billion to boost resin capacity in Jamnagar, India. When completed in March 2006, the Reliance project will have annual capacities of more than 3 billion pounds of PP and 4.4 billion pounds of polyester at the site.
In Gandar, Reliance's Indian Petrochemicals Corp. Ltd. unit is adding a combined 155 million pounds of capacity for PVC and vinyl chloride monomer.
Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, Mich., has struck a deal to license its Unipol-brand PP technology to Moscow-based Lukoil-Neftekhim for a 265 million-pound-capacity PP plant in Budennovsk, Russia. The project, to be completed in 2006, will create 400 jobs.
Polibrasil, based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will add 460 million pounds of PP capacity in two phases by 2008 at Maua, Brazil.
Both the Titan and Polibrasil projects are using Basell NV's Spheripol PP technology.