China to Invest in Petrochemicals from Coal Facility

photo : Total

Total and China Power Investment have announced that they will carry out a study into a possible 1 million-metric-ton-per-year polyolefins complex in China’s  Inner Mongolia region. The area has abundant supplies of coal, so feedstock will be readily available

Total and China Power aim to complete the plant in around 5 years, with an anticipated cost of  up to $4 billion to build.

The facility will use a coal to methanol process, together with the methanol-to-olefins technology and an olefins cracking process that Total has been testing in Feluy, Belgium.

Interesting move and one which reduces China's dependence on imported feedstocks. I don't know how this process compares economically but an abundant supply of low cost coal has to be an advantage, particularly with ethane supply becoming tighter in the Middle East and the link between naphtha and crude oil price.