September 18, 2019

Asia’s Condensate Splitter Capacity Expansions and Impacts on Naphtha Balances

Stratas Advisors

Condensate splitters complement Asia’s refining industry, providing much needed naphtha feedstock. Since 2012, at least eight condensate splitters have been built in the Asia-Pacific region, with the majority of projects concentrated in South Korea. Notably, South Korea’s refineries have been investing in condensate splitters projects to maximize naphtha feedstock supplies for integrated aromatics units. South Korea’s GS Caltex, which does not have a condensate splitter unit, blends condensate with heavier crudes to raise naphtha production. Growing interest in condensate splitters investment have been bolstered by a combination of aromatics capacity expansions and rising condensate supplies from the US amid declining naphtha exports from India, combined with the closure of JX Nippon Oil & Energy’s Mizushima condensate splitter in 2017.


Taiwan’s CPC has completed a 50,000 Mbpd condensate processing unit at its Dalin refinery. The Philippines’ Petron is constructing a 100,000 Mbpd condensate processing unit at its Bataam refinery to boost naphtha production for its new aromatics plant. In China, Fuhaichuang (formerly Dragon Aromatics) is planning to restart a 90,000 Mbpd condensate processing unit in Fujian after it was closed due to a paraxylene plant explosion in 2015. However, condensate processing capacity expansions in Asia appear to be having limited impact on naphtha supplies since demand growth continues to outpace incremental supply. Increases in olefins and aromatics capacity additions and the loss of condensate supplies from Iran and Qatar, where new condensate splitters were recently commissioned, are also leading to increased naphtha imports into Asia. The Asia-Pacific region is set to remain a net importer of naphtha over the long term against the backdrop of petrochemical capacity expansions.


Asia Pacific’s Existing and Forthcoming Condensate Processing Projects                Unit: MBPD



Source: Stratas Advisors


Asia Pacific Naphtha Supply and Demand (2014-2040)                                                   Unit: MBPD



Source: Stratas Advisors


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