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The petroleum coke market is growing at a significant rate due to emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region. As the largest importer of petroleum gas, Asia-Pacific dominates the petroleum coke market in terms of demand. In China, most of the petroleum coke is used in power plants for generating electricity, whereas in India most of the petroleum coke is used in cement kilns owing to rapid industrialization and increased population in the countries. Europe is the second highest importer of petroleum coke because of the rise in demand of electricity in the region. Many crude oil refining companies had established delayed cooking units to produce petroleum coke domestically. Even in the Middle East and Latin America, considerable demand for petroleum coke exist because of rising population and increasing infrastructure developments in the regions.
Crude oil leaves some residual crude when it is processed into diesel fuel, gasoline, lubricating oils, jet fuel, and waxes that undergo further processing. The crude residue is further refined by coking, a process to produce transportation fuels and petroleum coke, having a range of uses as an alternative and cost-effective fuel. The unprocessed coke directly out of the coker is called green coke and be converted into petroleum coke by coking processes which removes volatile hydrocarbons from the green coke. Petroleum coke has more than 80% carbon and when it is burned, it emits four to nine percent more carbon dioxide than coal on basis of per unit of energy. Petroleum coke is stored in a stack near an oil refinery pending sale.
On the basis of type, petroleum coke can be categorized as fuel grade coke and calcined petroleum coke. Fuel grade coke can be subcategorized as shot coke and sponge coke. Fuel grade coke dominates the petroleum coke market, having the highest share among the types of petroleum coke because of its advantage over calcined petroleum coke such as high calorific value and less cost. Even a small amount of fuel grade coke can produce large quantity of electricity, so electricity is produced at a cheaper rate with the use of fuel grade coke. Calcined petroleum coke is generally used to make steel, paints, steel, titanium, fertilizers and aluminum.
Petroleum coke can be categorized on the basis of end users as cement kilns, calcining, blast furnace and power plants. Power plants and cement kilns had grown with the fastest rate among the applications of petroleum coke.
Petroleum coke gasification leading to clean production of power is one of the opportunities for growth of the petroleum coke market. Increase in aluminum production, and increased usage of petroleum coke as a fuel in power and cement industries in the Asia-Pacific countries are some of the factors that are driving the growth of the petroleum coke market to a significant extent. Besides the advantages of petroleum coke, there is a disadvantage for petroleum coke that it has an adverse effect on the environment and human health, which in turn is restraining the growth of the petroleum coke market. Petroleum coke has high sulfur and low volatile content, causing environmental problems during combustion.
Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Essar Oil Ltd., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, ExxonMobil Corporation, BP Plc, Valero Energy Corporation, HPCL - Mittal Energy Limited, Saudi Arabian Oil Co., Chevron Corporation, and Reliance Industries Limited are some of the major competitors in the petroleum coke market.