Iran to get 30% of Middle East ethylene capacity by 2020 (Analysis)

10 November, 2015
Source: Platts

The Middle East currently has a total of 30.2 million mt of ethylene capacity, of which roughly 6.5 million mt is produced by Iran. Saudi Arabia produces 15.7 million mt of ethylene, more than half of the ethylene produced in the region. Iran currently ranks second in the region in terms of total production with a 22% share.

However, with the increase in production capacity coming online within the next five years, Iran will produce approximately 30% of the region’s ethylene capacity by 2020. As shown in the table below, a total of 6.2 million mt of ethylene is expected to come online by 2020 in Iran.


Polyethylene typically represents 50-60% of ethylene demand. Ethylbenzene, ethylene oxide, ethylene dichloride, and alpha olefins make up the rest of ethylene demand, while a small percentage is used for other applications.

Polyethylene plants

Total polyethylene capacity in the Middle East for 2015 is 18.7 million mt. Saudi Arabia and Iran are the two top polyethylene producers in the region, producing 42% and 26%, respectively. Total polyethylene capacity in Iran is currently 3.1 million mt, most of which is HDPE. New capacity expected to come online within the next three years will total nearly 3 million mt, bringing the total polyethylene capacity in Iran to 6.1 million mt. By 2020, Iran’s share of polyethylene capacity in the Middle East is expected to increase to 32% with a total of 7.8 million mt.


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