Cost Curve Service - Polypropylene

The Chemical Cost Curve Service – Polypropylene provides detailed production cost coverage for the more than 360 polypropylene production units operating around the world today, expected to increase to nearly 400 units within five years.

Integration of each production unit back to propylene is taken into account to develop integrated production cost curves showing the cash cost of production from base feedstock, whether it be steam-cracked NGL or naphtha, refinery FCC, propane dehydrogenation, coal-to-olefins or other routes, utilizing the research and analysis developed in the Chemical Cost Curve Service – Propylene.

Cost curves provide insight into which production technologies provide cost advantages, the degree of the advantage and how this is expected to change over time. Find out which are the lowest-cost regions, countries and plants, both today and into the future, both on a direct production cost basis as well as on a delivered basis with curves that compare cost of local producers with cash cost of imports from major producing regions including freight, logistics and duties. Identify the marginal producing location and how this affects pricing. Understand how the shape of the cost curve affects overall and regional profitability for this key building block of the chemical industry.

The shift in global steam cracker production toward lighter, natural gas-based feedstocks has been increasingly limiting by-product propylene output. The resulting tight supply of propylene led to higher propylene and polypropylene prices, which are encouraging investments in alternate propylene sources, such as refinery-derived and on-purpose propylene production. These developments have been enabling producers in the Middle East to expand their previously relatively small polypropylene capacity base and become major suppliers of the international market. High propylene feedstock prices also rendered the construction of stand-alone polypropylene plants infeasible, making upstream integration a prerequisite for new PP projects.

Cost differentials between regions impact the shipment of polypropylene across borders. With converters more willing to consider low-cost imported resins, understanding the competitive cost position for producers around the globe is more critical than ever.

The Cost Curve Service – Polypropylene analyzes each of the world’s polypropylene production facilities, building up cost based on the technology, estimated feedstock cost, utility consumption and other variable and plant fixed costs. Plant size, degree of integration and operating rates are all taken into account. Views are provided on an integrated and non-integrated basis, including propylene either at cash cost of production or market price for integrated producers. Cost of delivery from major producing regions to major consuming regions, including freight, logistics and duties, is included to generate delivered cost curves.

The cost curve covers all of the key processes for producing polypropylene, including:

  • Bulk slurry
  • Gas phase
  • Hydrocarbon slurry
  • Liquid/gas phase combination
  • Multiple gas phase
  • Solution

Any person, company or government interested in producing or purchasing polypropylene, or designing or constructing polypropylene plants, should be aware of the competitive positions within the global polypropylene industry. Chemical, utilizing its extensive databases, models and expertise, has prepared the Cost Curve service to address this need.


The deliverable is an interactive Excel spreadsheet that will allow the user to toggle and create key graphs and tables

  • Global curves for current year, future year, five years out and one historical year for reference
  • Charts showing costs by year for world and ten geographic regions, broken down by net feedstock cost, variable costs and fixed costs.
  • Regional averages and all individual plants for any given region plotted on the curve
  • Integrated curves with propylene at the cash cost of production for producers who are integrated upstream with PG/CG propylene production capacity
  • Delivered curves comparing cost of local production with imports from major producing regions for each major consuming region
  • Breakdown of capacity by major process technology for world and ten geographic regions
  • Cost summary tables showing number of production units, total capacity, average capacity, with total cash cost broken down into feedstock cost, co-product credit, net feedstock cost, variable cost, fixed costs, for world and each of ten geographic regions

The service will include an executive overview, summarizing the key findings from the analysis

Regional cost structure is included, along with production cost economics for major technologies

Capacity data by unit is included for all years covered in the analysis

The Cost Curve service will be updated twice a year on same schedule as the Chemical World Analysis – Polypropylene, typically in the late Fall and very early Spring

The deliverable is an interactive Excel spreadsheet that will allow the user to toggle and create key graphs and tables

Customer Stories


Training & User Group Jul 10, 2018

Understanding the Global Petrochemical Indust (...)

A three-day course by IHS Chemical Training & Edu (...)

Training & User Group Jun 05, 2018

Understanding the Global Petrochemical Indus (...)

A three-day course by IHS Chemical Training & Edu (...)

Training & User Group Jun 19, 2018

Understanding Global Petrochemical Industry - (...)

A three-day course by IHS Chemical Training & Edu (...)

Filter Sort