China is now among the top of the world in MTO technology innovation and industrialization, demonstration projects in coal to oil, coal to methanol, MTO, coal to glycol have all reached into stable operation status while leading newly emerged breakthroughs in critical technology and equipment development, which brings out a rapidly growing market. The progress of modern MTO industrialized demonstration projects have lightened a torch of hope in coal-based chemical industry, however this positive and active situation shall not last forever, which implies moderation in future development in MTO industry. The MTO development is always go hand-in-hand with tons of risks and uncertainties, it requires huge investments, also highly strict environmental responsibilities, not mention the whole coal-based industry has faced serious situation because of low-oil price, which freeze many projects in the “permission granted” status.
Domestic olefin market price plummet along with the lower and lower oil price, which makes it totally lost its advantages of cost efficiency, some scheduled Start-of-Run projects have already been delayed deliberately. If the oil price maintaining its current state, more scheduled MTO projects may further defer the actual commission date, even the currently operating MTO projects may choose to lower production capacity or totally stop production to avoid losing money. Oil price has been hang around in lower level since 2015 and the possibility of returning the original price is nearly zero, MTO industry shall be challenged during a rather long period.
From <China Chemical Reporter> vol 1276, 03 Sept 2015