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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Equate targets $4.5bn sales in 2017 driven by growth in Asian markets

The partly Dow-owned company is the world's second largest manufacturer of ethylene glycol

Kuwait’s Equate, the world’s second largest producer of ethylene glycol, expects to rake in about $4.5bn of revenues in 2017 derived from sales of polyethylene and glycol - products that have seen growing demand in Asian markets.
Kuwait’s Equate, the world’s second largest producer of ethylene glycol, expects to rake in about $4.5bn of revenues in 2017 derived from sales of polyethylene and glycol - products that have seen growing demand in Asian markets.

Kuwait’s Equate Petrochemical Company, the world’s second largest producer of ethylene glycol used in the polyester manufacturing industry, expects to rake in about US$4.5 billion of revenues in 2017 derived from sales of polyethylene and glycol - products that have seen growing demand in Asian markets.

“Total breakdown would be around $4.5bn that is our estimate for this year. Polyethylene forms 25 per cent of the revenue. Seventy-five per cent would be glycol,” Ramesh Ramachandran, the newly appointed president and chief executive of Equate told reporters in Dubai.

The Kuwaiti petrochemical firm's ethylene glycol finds use in the fast-growing polyester manufacturing industry that has a large base in Asia.

"In the markets our polyethylene, we should see a good five to six per cent growth in our polyethylene sales next year and glycol will do what glycol always does. It’s a very tight market today and it will continue to maintain its market,” he added.

The company’s 850,000 tonne ethylene cracker, which had shutdown in July because of a technical issue is now back online ahead of its scheduled restart in the first week of December.

Equate, which operates two olefins units in Kuwait said it had no plans yet to be involved with its stakeholder state-owned Petrochemical Industries Company’s (PIC) plans to develop an olefins and aromatics complex associated with the upcoming 615,000 barrel-a-day Al Zour Refinery.

“At this point we’re aware of the project but we’re not involve from a direct investment standpoint but it’s a great opportunity to leverage the presence Equate has in Kuwait and the desires of the KPC (Kuwait Petroleum Corporation), but at this stage there is no involvement,” Mr Ramachandran said.

PIC has also signed an agreement to develop a 1.44 million tonne aromatics facility in Bahrain, following the modernisation of the country’s sole refinery at Sitra. However, Equate has said there are no plans yet to participate with PIC in the development of Bahrain’s upcoming petrochemical facilities.

Equate has Kuwait’s PIC and US’ Dow Chemical Company as majority stakeholders with 42.5 per cent each. The remaining stakes are held by Kuwaiti firms Boubyan Petrochemical Company (nine per cent) and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (six percent).

Last year, Equate, issued transaction bonds valued at $2.25bn following its acquisition of MEGlobal on the US Gulf Coast. The facility, which is set for completion in 2019 will have an annual capacity of 750,000 tonnes.