Positioning petrochemicals market in the emerging circular economy

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A closer look at how the PAC approach aligns analysis and core products with strategic choices to meet market needs, increase efficiency and uptime and produce profitable growth for customers Within the energy industry, the oil and gas market continues to hold a prominent position, but it is currently undergoing a transition, away from crude oil resources for hydrocarbon-based fuel production to chemical manufacturing.

S&P Global Commodity Insights has recently revised its projection for direct crude oil-to-chemical capacity (COTC) growth, anticipating a substantial increase to six million barrels per day (b/d) by the year 2050. This projection takes into account the anticipated decline in crude refinery runs, resulting in a net reduction of 10.7 million b/d when compared to the levels recorded in 2022. As a result, a total investment of US$137 billion by 2050 is expected for more petrochemical production, with only the refinery portion of the investments included.

With significant investment, the petrochemical industry is also undergoing significant transformations in response to market trends and forces. There are key developments to consider in this rapidly growing and changing market, highlighting the need for circular economy initiatives. PAC offers a range of solutions to address current and future needs.

At PAC, we help our customers achieve profitable growth. Our solutions enable them to increase their efficiency and uptime. We achieve this by helping our customers in the analysis of heavier feeds in integrated refineries and at crude-to-chemical plants, including the analysis of co-processed bio-streams at petrochemical FCC and steam cracking units.

Additionally, we have improved our state-of-the-art purity analysis solutions to have low limits of detection, ensuring our customer’s product quality when newly emerging feeds are processed. At PAC, we believe in helping our planet by supporting circular economy initiatives. Therefore, our selected streamlined product offerings provide distinct advantages for those willing to tackle the challenging problems for the analysis of waste plastic pyrolysis oil.

Our broad product portfolio covers the analysis of olefins, aromatics, emerging feedstocks, and chemicals. By designing solutions specifically for our customers, we are able to provide increased efficiency and uptime. Plastics continue to play a crucial role in various industries, including in the production of green technology, such as electric cars, wind turbines, and solar panels.

Mainly triggered by investors and policymakers who are sensitive to ESG-related topics, companies are seeking alternatives to fossil fuels and are investing in technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to mitigate climate change.

To remain competitive, refiners are exploring ways to reposition themselves in the field and repurpose existing equipment. At the same time refineries, which serve as the primary source of feedstock for the petrochemical industry, are facing narrowing margins. This is attributed to factors such as unstable crude oil prices, intense competition, and stricter environmental regulations.

As a result, refineries are exploring diversification strategies, investing in petrochemical units, and adopting more sustainable practices to enhance profitability. This has led to a rise in investments in conversion and integration technologies. The petrochemical industry is also increasingly adopting bio-based streams and blends to meet sustainability goals and reduce dependence on fossil-based feedstocks.

Those who are willing to contribute to a sustainable future and to ensure long-term success in the circular economy are strongly encouraged to navigate the waves of opportunity by taking a number of approaches, which include revamping business models to balance increased profitability and regulatory compliance; developing sustainable and renewable feedstocks; improving plastic waste collection infrastructure, driving innovation and technological advancement, and seeking new ways to collaborate.

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