PEP Review 78-1-1
Ethylene from Crude Oil, UCC/Kureha/Chiyoda
Published: May 1979
The new UCC/Kureha/Chiyoda cracking process starting with light crude oil is estimated to require a somewhat higher total fixed capital investment (TFC) than does conventional cracking for ethylene. For a 1,000 million lb/yr (454,000 metric tons/yr) ethylene plant, and exclusive of the oxygen plant it requires, the TFC for the new process is about 4% greater than that for gas oil cracking, and 15% greater than that for naphtha cracking.
At the then prevailing prices in the United States for raw materials and by-products, we estimate that ethylene value (cost + 25%/yr return on TFC) from the new process is about higher than that from conventional gas oil cracking, and lower than that from naphtha cracking. The economics of the new process become more favorable as the crude oil price rises.
Union Carbide would recommend use of a lower investment figure and thus a more favorable ethylene value for the new process.