Estimated Global Capacity for Butanediol Reached 1.9 mln Tons in 2009

20 Jul 2010 • by Natalie Aster
Estimated Global Capacity for Butanediol Reached 1.9 mln Tons in 2009
Worldwide butanediol (BDO) capacity has been growing at a sizeable rate during the past years. Estimated global capacity reached 1.9 mln tons in 2009. The most notable increases in production were observed in Asia. Consolidation of older and non-integrated plants is expected in the coming years. At the same time overcapacity remains one of the biggest challenges for BDO producers.

The global BDO market was growing at a yearly rate of 6-7%. Growth in the Western hemisphere was at 3-4%, while growth in Asia stood at roughly 8%, with China having a growth rate of 10%. Market growth slowed after 2008 with signs of rebound in 2009 and after.

In 2009 demand for butanediol was estimated at 1.52 mln tons. The higher demand was attributed to the increased use of spandex fibres and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). However, a number of factors could drive demand even higher. New capacity for BDO and derivatives in China could stimulate the market and encourage new investment in derivatives. Future major investments in PBT capacity could also drive growth. In addition, the shift away from the acetylene-based Reppe process to cheaper routes, using propylene, butadiene or butane feedstock with improved process economics, should improve operating margins for manufacturers.

Butanediol is a valuable chemical intermediate used in the production of high performance polymers, solvents and fine chemicals. The BDO chain has three main branches – polymers, tetrahydrofuran (THF) derivatives and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) derivatives.

Butanediol is used directly in the manufacture of polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) and copolyester ether (COPE). PBT has been growing at over 6%/year, principally consumed in engineering plastics for the automotive and electronics industries.

More information on Butanediol market may be found in the report Butanediol (BDO) Market Outlook 2010 recently published by TD The Market Publishers, Ltd.