05 January 2000 18:09 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--BP Amoco told CNI on Wednesday that its G4 ethylene cracker at Grangemouth, Scotland, is expected to be brought back up by Friday (7 January) after being elected for shutdown following water quality supply problems last week at the petrochemicals complex.
A spokesman for BP Amoco said the G4 cracker was completely shutdown late on 29 December after operational problems were found with water demineralisation units elsewhere in the complex. The demineralisation units treat the water feed to a number of plants at the complex and the reduced output of treated water forced the company to elect units to temporarily shutdown, he said.
The principal petrochemicals plant affected by the problems in the combined petrochem/refinery complex is the 300 000 tonne/year G4 cracker. BP Amoco kept its bigger, 450 000 tonne/year, KG ethylene cracker running and its polyethylene units also remained in normal operation, said the spokesman.
"The focus was on maintaining key critical operations and the focus on safety," he said. "We kept [most of] the main plants operating despite the unforeseen problem."
The spokesman added that problems with water treatment units are still being investigated, but confirmed that they were not caused by any Y2K-related technical glitches. The spokesman said the Grangemouth site did not suffer any millennium computer 'bug' problems.
No specific details on the nature or extent of the water treatment difficulties were disclosed, but he added that no safety problems were experienced. The spokesman said that repair work for the water demineralisation units has been identified and work has begun.
The Grangemouth problem has coincided with the shutdown of one of two lines at Elf Atochem's Carling cracker in northeast France and an extended outage at the Stenungsund, Sweden cracker of Denmark's Borealis.
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