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Now for the glut

Petrochemical supplies are still rising but demand growth is less certain than it was

IN JUBAIL Industrial City, a huge new petrochemical cracker unit is being brought on line. The unit, being built by Sadara Chemical Company, will be the Middle East's first mixed-feedstock cracker, and part of the largest chemical complex ever built in a single phase, consisting of 26 chemical-manufacturing units. They will produce 1.5m tonnes a year (t/y) of ethylene and around 400,000 t/y of propylene. Sadara will crack naphtha - an oil-derived feedstock - as well as ethane; and the decision to build it was made four years ago, with one big target in mind: China's roaring economy and its massive consumer market. Indeed, Asia remains the big hope for petrochemical producers and exporter

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