Executive Summary

A picture of decarbonization foregrounding uncertainty and interconnection

The assets and their value chains are considered in the project using all the PESTEL dimensions, and by engaging different stakeholder perspectives.  The resulting review is broad rather than deep, focusing on inter-connections rather than necessarily providing all details on specific activities.

The emerging decarbonization picture foregrounds uncertainty and interconnection, reflecting back the complexity of a developing country context and challenges. Uncertainty exists across all dimensions of this decarbonisation challenge, with the evolution of the policy environment, social cohesion, environmental resilience, capital availability, and the evolution of governance at the local and national level, all having profound impacts on the future of the two facilities and their value chains.

In contrast to the stylized decarbonization routes suggested by techno-economic modelling, the project instead reveals a mesh of multi-dimensional interdependencies and contingent choices. Different parts of the value chain may transition faster or slower, influenced by events that may be techno-economic in nature, but may also be political, social, or environmental.  There are few clear cross-road decisions coming down the track for which the decision maker may or may not have time to prepare, and it will be increasingly difficult to know the consequences of choices in advance.

Further, the petrochemicals value chain is a complex system, and as such is  non-linear with the potential to ‘tip’ into new realities very quickly.