A Concise Synopsis of the Global Methanol Market Trends: Encouraging Initiatives Being Undertaken Across Prominent Emerging Economies to Drive Industry Expansion

May 03, 2018

The remuneration graph of methanol market has witnessed a remarkable escalation in the past decade, owing to the myriad economic and environmental advantages of this biodegradable chemical. Methanol can be manufactured from a wide array of feedstocks which makes it one of the most flexible energy sources and chemical commodities of the current era. For some, methanol is an effective alternative fuel for powering vehicles and ships, to others a chemical feedstock for refrigerants, solvents, and even anti-freeze.

Methanol is being increasingly considered as a strategic fuel by numerous developing nations due to the ease of adopting it in current fueling infrastructure, favorable economics and its clean fuel benefits. Moreover, the advantage of being able to use as alternative feedstocks in countries that lack domestic oil reserves has impelled the growth potential of the global methanol industry. Apparently, methanol has emerged as the ideal solution for emerging economies like India and China to meet the rising fuel demand and diversify their domestic energy sector.

Below is a succinct overview of how Methanol Market Share has evolved in China and India over the past few years:

China | Extensive capacity expansion plans and high consumption rates to favorably impact methanol market

In order to restructure the contours of its energy and transportation sector, China has been actively focusing on lowering the greenhouse gas emissions and diversifying the existing fuel market. As per reliable sources, the nation had set an ambitious target of manufacturing and selling 500,000 alternative-energy and energy-efficient vehicles per annum by 2015, and five million more each year by 2020. Apparently, China’s transportation vertical readily deployed methanol, whose consumption grew from virtually zero to replacing about 8% of the nation’s gasoline demand over the past decade. This has, in consequence, boosted the commercialization potential of the overall methanol industry across China.

According to a study commissioned by U.S. Energy Information Administration, China’s methanol consumption in fuel products has observed a meteoric jump and is forecast to have surpassed 500,000 barrels per day in 2016. Taking into account the burgeoning requirement of methanol across various business domains across China, methanol market players along with government entities have been focusing on expanding the existing production capacities of this chemical.

Citing an instance to validate the efficacy of the aforementioned statements, an investment arm of China’s Academy of Science, CAS Holdings has announced to invest approximately USD 2 billion to set up a methanol manufacturing project at Kalama Port, Washington. Apparently, the facility would turn natural gas into methanol on the West Coast of the U.S. and ship the fuel to Chinese chemical makers and industrial units – a factor that would invariably stimulate the methanol industry share in the forthcoming years.

India | Methanol industry sphere to play a vital role in enhancing the energy security of the nation

Over the past few years, the Indian economy has grown at an unprecedented pace owing to its rapid advances in urbanization and industrialization arenas. However, the nation’s concern toward inordinate usage of fossil fuels and exploitation of energy resources have been a debatable aspect. As a result of this, India has been facing a humongous task of tackling the escalation in environmental pollution in the recent times. Therefore, the Government of India has now focused on vigorously adopting sustainable alternatives over conventional petroleum-based products – a factor that would open up new business avenues for methanol market participants.

As per a vision document released by NITI Aayog, the premier policy think-tank of India, the Government is likely to go ahead with a target of 15% blending of methanol in diesel/gasoline by 2022. It has been further noted that if this target is accomplished, it could result in savings of around $8 billion to the country’s total energy expenditure.

Furthermore, the document notes that a dedicated team of professionals has been constituted who would work toward developing a robust framework for manufacturing, distributing, and effectively utilizing methanol in the nation. Needless to mention, the diligent implementation of this framework would significantly lower India’s carbon footprint which would, consequentially propel the methanol industry share in the ensuing years.

As methanol can be manufactured from a number of readily available feedstocks including natural gas, coal, and biomass, major methanol market players have deployed their resources to expand their production capabilities across the globe. Concurrently, it would be prudent to mention that with a humongous application portfolio comprising foams, resins, paints, plastics, building materials, polyester, and pharmaceutical sectors, the global methanol industry would gain substantial acclaim in the coming years.

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