Pemex reports increases in crude processing after refinery work; Methyl methacrylate market seen doubling in size by 2030

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PMAA is “used extensively as taillight covers along with opaque add-ons for vehicle body parts,” according to the report by Facts and Factors.Image courtesy of Karsten Paulick, Pixabay

Pemex reports increases in crude processing after refinery work

Mexican state oil producing company and refiner Pemex said on May 3, 2023 that during the first quarter of 2023 its crude oil processing reached levels that represented an increase, made possible thanks to recent refinery-related improvement work.

“Maintenance work done in the six refineries of the National Refining System allowed the increase of the processing of crude during the period January-March 2023 to an average of 835,000 barrels,” the company said.

“Moreover, the processing in the Deer Park refinery for 264,000 barrels daily is added so that the total processing through assets of Petroleos Mexicanos adds up to 1.1 million barrels,” according to the statement.

Pemex also reported that its crude oil production continued to increase in comparison with past periods and reached 1.86 million barrels daily in the period.

Pemex took action in 2021 to secure fuel volumes it was already importing by agreeing to purchase from Shell a majority stake in the 340,000 bpd Deer Park refinery in Texas, as well as the construction of the Dos Bocas refinery in southern Mexico.

In addition to the six refineries, Pemex also owns petrochemical plants.

Pemex had informed in 2022 about work at its six refineries to improve production following the completion of new capacity at Dos Bocas, in the state of Tabasco, where 340,000 bpd of new capacity is scheduled to start operations around July. Pemex announced in 2021 the purchase of a majority stake in the 340,000 bpd refinery in Deer Park, south of Houston.

The six operating refineries in Mexico owned by Pemex are: Salina Cruz, in the state of Oaxaca, with 167,000 bpd capacity; Minatitlan, in Veracruz, with 143,000 bpd; Salamanca, in Guanajuato, with 115,000 bpd; Tula, in Hidalgo, with 110,000 bpd; Cadereyta, in Nuevo Leon, with 107,000 bpd and Madero, in Tamaulipas, with 95,000 bpd.

Pemex owns petrochemical facilities in La Cangrejera, in Coatzacoalcos, state of Veracruz, and the Morelos petrochemical complex, located near the Minatitlan refinery, also in Veracruz.

There are two privately owned plastic resin facilities in Mexico located near Tampico, state of Tamaulipas: One polypropylene plant is located near Tampico, Tamaulipas, and is owned by Indelpro in partnership with LyondellBasell.

Braskem separately owns an ethylene and polyethylene complex in partnership with local group Idesa, just south of Tampico, Tamaulipas. Braskem Idesa´s plant is located in Nanchital, Veracruz.

Methyl methacrylate market seen doubling in size by 2030

The global methyl methacrylate market, an intermediate for poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA) estimated at around $14 billion in 2021, will expand at an annual rate of over 8% and reach nearly $30 billion by 2030, according to a report by Facts and Factors, as per a press release on May 16.

PMMA, produced from MMA, can be “more expensive than traditional plastic and are produced in fewer quantities,” it said.

“Engineering plastics are slowly but steadily replacing conventional plastics because of the higher benefits provided by the advanced version. This could lead to more demand for MMA in the coming years,” it added.

Automotive was the leading application for the product in 2021, a year when Asia-Pacific was the leading revenue-generation region.

The global methyl methacrylate market is projected to grow, owing to the increasing demand for polymethyl methacrylate.

Almost 75% of the world's MMA production is used for the development of PMMA, a transparent thermoplastic also called acrylic glass, or acrylic.

PMAA helps make lightweight and shatter-proof substitutes for glass. This has applications in the automotive industry.

PMAA can also be used to create coatings as well as inks and casting resins, the report said.

Polymethyl methacrylate “is considered an economical alternative to polycarbonate in cases where flexural strength, tensile strength, polishability, transparency, and ultraviolet tolerance” are more important than heat or chemical resistance, the report said.

There are also challenges for the expansion of the MMA market. The health impact of methyl methacrylate, if a person is exposed to the chemical, may restrict expansion in production of the material, the report said.

“At production sites, these events can occur repeatedly which could later impact the associated ecosystem,” the report said.

Construction, automotive, electronics, and healthcare are among industries demanding acrylate.

In 2021, the highest demand pull for methyl methacrylate came from the automotive. PMAA is “used extensively as taillight covers along with opaque add-ons for vehicle body parts,” according to the report by Facts and Factors.

The breaking strength for PMAA is 30 times higher than normal mineral glass.

PMMA can be obtained from ethylene, through the acetone cyanohydrin method, or through the  isobutylene method.

By Reuters Events Dowsntream