YANTAI, China, July 31 (Reuters) - China is expected to triple its manufacturing capacity of polyester-making chemical paraxylene, or PX, by 2025 that will close a huge import gap, said a senior executive with an industry association on Wednesday.
Fu Xiangsheng, vice chairman of China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF) said China will have 44 million tonnes of PX production capacity by 2025, versus 13.8 million tonnes in 2018.
China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of PX and polyester, vital for the country’s textile industry that generates hundreds of billion dollars of exports a year.
The industry however has relied on imports for meeting nearly half its PX demand, said Fu. China imports the chemical, typically produced at crude oil refineries, from South Korea, Japan, India and the Middle East.
“By 2025, the domestic PX production and demand will roughly reach a balance point,” Fu said.
Fu said China is now building 11 new PX facilities and another six have been planned, with total annual capacity of 31.4 million tonnes.
Private chemical companies, such as Hengli Petrochemical and Zhejiang Rongsheng Group will add about 10 million tonnes per year of new paraxylene capacity in 2019.
Reporting by Muyu Xu in YANTAI; writing by Chen Aizhu in SINGAPORE