Process Economics Program Report 249
Strategic Business Units of ABS and Polystyrene Resins
Published: August 2003
This report presents economics for four cases of strategic business units (SBUs) for the production of polystyrene and ABS resins, namely
Case 1 Integration of styrene manufacturing with polystyrene production
Case 2 Polystyrene production with captive styrene from other location
Case 3 Integration of styrene and/or acrylonitrile manufacturing with polystyrene and ABS production
Case 4 Production of polystyrene and ABS resins with contracted precursors.
The configurations of these SBU cases are selected, depending on the industrial information of production capacities of the polymers and precursors provided in Section 3 (Industry Status) of this report. We estimate as well as compare the economics of these SBUs in Section 6 of this report. This report also presents a review of current technology for the production of polystyrene and ABS resins as well as their precursors, i.e. styrene and acrylonitrile. The economics of standalone plants for the production of these chemicals are given in Section 5. Worldwide consumption of ABS resins in 2002 is estimated to be about 5 million tons, of which approximately 62 % is accounted for by Asian consumption, 17 % is accounted for by the consumption in North America, and 15 % is accounted for by Western European consumption. The worldwide consumption of polystyrene in 2002 is estimated at 11 million metric tons, of which 38 % is accounted for by Asian consumption, 27 % by the consumption of North America, and more than 22 % by the consumption of Western Europe. The average annual demand for ABS resins for the next five years is estimated at 5% to 6.3 million tons in 2007 with most of the future demand growth coming from Asia-Pacific. The consumption of polystyrene will reach 13.5 million tons in 2007 again with the Asia-Pacific having the highest growth rate, particularly in China.