You are on page 1of 4




Ethylene oxide (EO) is a raw material used in manufacture of chemical derivatives for
major consumer goods. It mainly used to produce ethylene glycol which is pre-
product for polyesters. EO is used directly in the gaseous form to produce sterilizing
agent, fumigant and many others application. Due to the commercial success of the
direct oxidation process, the market trend toward larger single-train plant becomes
phenomenal growth of production capacity of ethylene oxide in the world.


According SRI Consulting, USA (North America) is the country that produced 4
million tons of ethylene oxide which is over one fifth of all global production and the
highest production in 2004 followed by Venezuela (2 million tons), Saudi Arabia (1.8
million tons) and China (1.4 million tons). Because of direct oxidation process
become successful due to higher yields and less downtime, the global production
increases from 18 million metric tons in 2007 to 19 million metric tons in 2008 and
2009 (SRI Consulting, 2009).

The market of ethylene oxide is being driven by strong demand especially in

polyester fibres and PET resin which are largely used in the textile, food and beverage
industries. The global market in terms of revenue in 2011 was estimated worth USD
29,019.1 million and expected to be increasing until USD 42,632.1 million in 2018,
growing at a CAGR of 5.7 % from 2014 to 2018. Asia Pacific dominates the ethylene
oxide market, accounting for over 63% of total demand in 2011 (Transparency Market
Research, 2012). With the crude oil prices moving upwards, the price trend are
expected to reflect in the ethylene prices which is an important material for ethylene
oxide. The uptrend in ethylene oxide prices is likely to prompt the producers to
increase the prices (Marketsandmarkets, 2010).


Other Countries
44% China
17% Saudi Arabia
South Korea

Figure 2.1 Global Production of Ethylene Oxide 2012

Source : Research and Market 2015

Global demand for ethylene oxide is forecast to grow at a rate of 5% per year
from 2009 to 2014, and around 3% per year from 2014 to 2019 (SRI Consulting,
2010). Furthermore, global production of ethylene oxide is foreseen to grow and will
be driven mainly by demand especially in Asia Pacific region (Merchant Research and
Consulting ltd). Based on Figure 2.1, it shows that the production increases as in 2015,
production of ethylene oxide in Asia is the highest which is covered about 34% of
global production (IHS Markit, 2016). In Asia, China is the largest producer of
ethylene oxide. Chinas ethylene oxide market will remain relatively domestic, the
supply and demand are currently and expected to be highly dominated and satisfied by
domestic producers and users ( SAI Report, 2010).

In Malaysia, company of Optimal Glycols (M) Sdn. Bhd., a joint venture

between The Dow Chemical Company of US and PETRONAS has annual production
capacity of 385,000 million tons of ethylene oxide (EO) and 365,000 million tons of
ethylene glycols in Kerteh, Terengganu. Another plant, PRPC Glycols Sdn. Bhd. in
Pengerang, Johor has capacity of 1,400,000 million tons per year (PETRONAS,
2016). Malaysia has so far been relatively unaffected by the general crisis in East Asia
(ICIS, 2013).

Total import of ethylene oxide in Malaysia was 0.57% from 30 million tonnes
of global production in 2016. Since the proposed plant built is unable to fulfill
completely the increasing demand of ethylene oxide in worldwide, thus the production
rate of the proposed plant built is estimated to cover 0.17% of ethylene oxides import
in Malaysia. The annual growth import rate of ethylene oxide in Malaysia is forecast
to grow at a rate 8.9% in 5 years from 2017 to 2022. The production of ethylene oxide
for our plant would be 50 kiloton per year.

250,000 204000
200,000 171000
150,000 113400

Thousand tonnes 100,000

50,000 563724565
2008 2012 2016 2020
2006 2010 2014 2018 2022

Figure 2.2 : Total import ethylene oxide in Malaysia

Source : Resource Statistic 2016


Oxirane (ethylene oxide) are the 2584th most traded product and the 321st most
complex product according to the Product Complexity Index (PCI). Malaysia
contribute 0.449% from the global exporters and 0.57% from global importers of
ethylene oxide in 2016. The global top exporters of Oxirane (ethylene oxide) are
Germany (40%), the Netherlands (20%), Belgium-Luxembourg (11%), France (8.8%)
and the United Kingdom (6.9%). The top importers are Italy (23%), Germany (21%),
Belgium-Luxembourg (15%), France (6.8%) and the United Kingdom (6.2%).

Ethylene oxide is produced in Malaysia has been exported to several countries

including Singapore, Germany, Australia, India, Indonesia, Thailand and other
countries. Exported to Singapore is the highest, followed by Germany, Australia and
India with around 33% in Singapore and with another 23% in Germany and 17% in
India. Malaysia has been imported the ethylene oxide from Belgium Luxembourg,
Japan, India and Singapore. The highest percentage of import is from Belgium Luxem
that is 29%, followed by Japan with around 23% and 20% in India.(OEC,2014)

Figure 2.3: EO imports and exports by European Union (EU).

Source : ICIS News


The annual production of our plant would be 50 kilotons per year. Since, the total
import of ethylene oxide in Malaysia was 0.57% from 30 million tonnes of global
production in 2016. Thus the production rate of the proposed plant is estimated to
cover 0.17% of ethylene oxides import in Malaysia. Our plant operates for 24 hours
in 350 days annually. So, the basis production rate of our plant is 5952kg/hr.