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Insight | Time:Jan 4 2017 10:21AM
China polyethylene (PE) expansions and turnaround schedules in 2017
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By the end of 2016, China’s polyethylene (PE) capacity is assessed at 16.425 million tons/year, increasing 900kt/year from the end of 2015. The growth rate of new capacities has slowed down, to around 5%, as the rate was once high at 10% before 2015. Major new capacities are located in provinces including Shaanxi, Ningxia, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia, in Southwest and Northwest China.

New PE capacities in 2016
New PE capacities in 2016
Company Plant Capacity (kt/year) Startup time
ChinaCoal Mengda HDPE/LLDPE 300 May
Shenhua Xinjiang LDPE 300 Oct
Zhongtian Hechuang LLDPE 300 Nov
Total 900  

In 2016, there are three new coal-based complexes started up, elevating coal-based capacities evidently. Of all PE production in China, coal-based producers could take up a share of 19.8% now, compared to the rate 15.2% in the first quarter of 2016. With more new coal-to-PE producers coming on stream, the rate would rise above 20%.

Oil price generally increased in 2016, leaving some advantages in cost for coal-based producers. But the pollution issues of integrated coal-to-chemical plants have added to the uncertainties greatly. Many of the plants have been delayed from its original startup plan.

PE capacity expansion schedules in 2017
PE capacity expansion schedules in 2017
Company Plant Capacity (kt/year) Startup time
Zhongtian Hechuang II LDPE 250 may startup in Q2 2017
LDPE 120 may startup in Q2 2017
Shenhua Ningxia Coal II LLDPE 430 may startup in Q2 2017
Jiutai Energy LLDPE/HDPE 300 uncertain

In 2017, PE market sees scheduled new capacities from three producers, all of whom are coal-to-chemical complexes. Zhongtian Hechuang and Shenhua Ningxia Coal II are possibly coming in the second quarter of 2017, contributing 800kt/year new capacities, however, Jiutai Energy has great uncertainties and may not start up in the year. But if all the above mentioned plants are started, the share of coal-to-PE producers would rise to 24.8%.

PE plant turnaround schedules in 2017
PE plant turnaround schedules in 2017
Company Plant Capacity (kt/year) Time span
YPC LLDPE 200 major turnaround in Apr-May
HDPE 270
Sinopec Shanghai PC HDPE 250 major turnaround since May
LDPE 200
Sinopec Qilu PC LLDPE 120 major turnaround in May-Jun
LDPE 140
HDPE 140
PetroChina Sichuan PC LLDPE 300 major turnaround since end Apr
HDPE 300
PetroChina Fushun PC HDPE/LLDPE 590 major turnaround since May
HDPE 350
PetroChina Jilin PC LLDPE 275 5-15 days since mid-Jun
HDPE 300 5-15 days in Apr and Oct
Pucheng Clean Energy HDPE/LLDPE 300 scheduled turnaround, time uncertain
Shaanxi Yanchang HDPE/LLDPE 300 scheduled turnaround, time uncertain
Shenhua Yulin LDPE 300 one month since mid-Apr

*major turnaround may last for 30-60 days, normally 30-45 days

The above-mentioned PE plant turnaround schedules are mostly uncertain, and we will keep updating the list.
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