A global boutique consultancy, we serve our clients in two ways: via client directed projects (TCG Consulting) and via various programs and studies (TCG Resources).

Chemical/Petrochemical Production and Feedstock Conversion in China

“Chemical/Petrochemical Production and Feedstock Conversion in China:
An Independent Assessment of Markets, Participants and Expectations, 2017-2025”

The current understanding of the marketplace in China for chemical/petrochemical production, feedstock conversion and related services is fragmented at best, with local knowledge of participants in China difficult to obtain and challenging to verify. The recent commercial slowdown in China, vs. the situation reported in publically available sources (including statistics), has prompted clients of The Catalyst Group Resources (TCGR) to begin questioning the real-world situation. Such local knowledge can be invaluable to current and prospective participants as they pursue market opportunities within China and consider commercial and/or technological partnerships, including product/market offtake expectations, toll manufacturing agreements and raw material supply relationships.

It is clear that a level of complexity has developed which has caused a reluctance to engage, or to slow the pace of engagement when undertaken. Coupled with the importance of the markets in China with regard to both size and growth for such products (and related technological advances with commercial implications), there is now a need for a more accurate and deeper understanding. TCGR’s proposed study will assess the real-world gaps which have developed and document how they can be overcome, based on local successes.


The past speed of development and pace of growth in selected chemical/petrochemical manufacturing and feedstock conversion (e.g., coal to olefins, oil to fuels/petrochemicals) has led to overcapacity in certain segments (e.g., methanol) which has resulted in increased uncertainties in where investments can or should be made. It is often difficult to comprehend the local Chinese drivers for, and factors in, decision-making with the implications having significant magnitude. Equally important is the need for a deeper understanding of the scientific leadership positions in Institutes, Universities and how they either follow or interact with government-directed policies, e.g., NRDC, NPCPI, and other national or provincial bodies. TCGR’s relationships with these influential organizations provides unique access to planning and permitting trends.

Due to the challenge involved as well as the importance of these developments, TCGR envisions a survey/interview approach, conducted on-the-ground via local experts with 20-25 key business operations and development executives, to include direct/attributable quotations. TCGR anticipates that “charter” subscribers (i.e., those companies that sign-up for the study prior to its launch) will contribute segment- and organization-specific contents for inclusion in the surveys.

A selection of representative comments/questions to be included are:

  • To what degree are major Chinese chemical/petrochemical producers, feedstock converters (i.e., to chemicals/fuels) and EPC companies, both State-owned and private, able to meet current end-user requirements?
  • Which organizations are back integrated into raw materials and/or have the capabilities to do toll/custom manufacturing?
  • How will supply channels (raw materials, fabrication, activation, process incorporation) be organized for domestic vs. international participants?
  • What activities are being studied, or planned, at the state-owned/-directed institutes and universities (e.g., Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, etc.) and how will this affect the ability of others to participate?
  • In the large/important chemical/petrochemical applications (e.g., aromatics/BTX, EO/EG and other oxo- chemicals, PTA, syngas/ammonia/methanol, olefins, etc.), what are realistic measurements for market size and how can expectations for growth be justified?
  • To what degree are the specifications for refined products for fuels (e.g., octane number, sulfur level, etc.) being regulated and/or enforced and what are the implications on technologies licensed/practiced in refineries across China?


At this time, TCGR is in a unique position to re-visit the topics/questions of greatest interest to current and prospective participants in order to provide an updated, real-world depiction of the situation. TCGR will utilize numerous deeply experienced experts on China’s chemical/petrochemical and feedstock conversion industries to assist us to provide insights beyond what other sources that do not have the reach and industrial experience can provide.

Additional information, including the complete study proposal, the preliminary Table of Contents and the Order Form, can be downloaded via the link below. For additional study details or to subscribe, please contact John J. Murphy at +1.215.628.4447 or John.J.Murphy@catalystgrp.com.

As it does in each of its industrially-focused multi-client studies, TCGR will seek input from “charter” subscribers (i.e., those who sign-up before April 21, 2017) to help shape the report’s
final scope/ToC so that it covers and emphasizes the most pertinent content due to the breadth of potential topics of interest, including nominations for interview questions and company/institution coverage (as represented in Section IV of the study’s Preliminary Table of Contents).

The Catalyst Group Resources (TCGR), a member of The Catalyst Group, is dedicated to monitoring and analyzing technical and commercial developments in catalysis as they apply to the global refining, petrochemical, fine/specialty chemical, pharmaceutical, polymer/elastomer and environmental industries.

Download PDF:
Updated Proposal – China Chemical Petrochemical Production Feedstock Conversion (March 2017)