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[ClickPress, Fri Apr 01 2016] The overhaul of Indonesian petrochemicals producer Chandra Asri Petrochemicals ' cracker in 2015 will boost the firm's revenues and output in 2016, and enable Indonesia to leverage the competitive advantages it enjoys in naphtha feedstock as well as the falling value of the rupiah. However, the market remains dependent on imports , and expansion is not happening at a fast enough pace to fulfil local demand. The development of a world-scale petrochemicals facility is still at least five years away, and in the meantime much of Indonesia's market growth will be served by imports.
Indonesia has a high level of import requirements and would need a world-scale petrochemicals complex to achieve self-sufficiency. In all, Indonesia had just 44% self-sufficiency in polymer resins in 2015, with demand for polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) at 3.11mn tonnes and production at 1.38mn tonnes. In Q116, Chandra Asri Petrochemicals (CAP) was bringing its expanded facility back online, albeit with initial technical problems causing stoppages and low capacity utilisation. The expansion means production capacity of ethylene and propylene is expected to increase to 860,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) and 470,000tpa respectively, from 600,000tpa and 320,000tpa in 2015. CAP hopes the growth will lead to revenues rising by at least 30%, helping to sustain net profit at 4.7%.
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Indonesia is also ramping up propylene capacity. The Cilacap RFCC, which came into operation in Q415, added 180,000tpa of propylene capacity. With CAP needing only a further 10,000tpa of propylene to run its 480,000tpa PP plant at full operating capacity, Indonesia has made a major step towards propylene self-sufficiency, potentially with an exportable surplus. However, the economics may not stack up in setting up a new PP plant, which would need to be big enough to compete with regional rivals.
If Indonesia is to achieve higher levels of competitiveness, it will need to raise domestic supplies of naphtha, which is the petrochemicals industry's leading feedstock. CAP is working with British Petroleum (BP) Singapore to boost naphtha supply and slash imports by 60%. Further naphtha supply will be needed to serve planned world-scale complexes.
Pertamina and Thailand's PTT Global Chemical Plc are looking to build a 360,000 barrels per day (b/d) and 1mn tpa naphtha cracker with downstream polymer units, scheduled to come onstream in 2020. Meanwhile, Lotte Chemical Titan is studying the possibility of building a USD4bn petrochemicals complex in Cilegon, Banten, near its existing 450,000tpa PE plant, although this is unlikely to come onstream until the next decade.
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