Italy Petrochemicals Report Q2 2016
The Italian petrochemicals market is brightening as growth returns to the manufacturing sector, withstronger economic growth bolstered by both domestic demand and export growth. However, more andmore of Italy's petrochemicals requirements are imported as the country's industry emerges from a period ofmassive capacity cutbacks, with potentially more in store. Italy's main petrochemicals producer, Versalis, isresponding by diversifying its Italian operations into high-value bio-plastics, a reorientation that is likely topay off.
The revived 490,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) Porto Marghera cracker will continue operations in 2016following an agreement with an unnamed buyer for an unknown supply of ethylene. Lower naphthafeedstock costs are enabling it to continue operating longer than the planned date of closure in September2015. Eventually, the plant will be replaced by bio-based chemical plants. While the cost of naphtha hasfallen sharply alongside the decline in the price of crude, structural problems within the Italianpetrochemicals industry mean this is insufficient to hold back and reverse the tide of plant closures andrationalisations.
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