10 August 2001 18:22 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--The No 2 cracker at Yanbu, Saudi Arabia operated by Yanpet, the joint venture between Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) and US energy group ExxonMobil, will be out of action until towards the end of this month, CNI learned on Friday.
Yanpet was forced to shut the plant, one of two 800 000 tonne/year crackers it operates at Yanbu on Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast, after encountering mechanical problems, according to sources close to the company.
They said today that the cracker had been shut on 27 July and was not expected back up until around 20 August.
A spokesman for ExxonMobil in Houston, Texas confirmed to CNI that the No 2 Yanpet cracker was down. He said it was planned to bring the plant back up later this month but was unable to be more specific.
ExxonMobil, which has a 50% stake in Yanpet, insisted that it was continuing to supply all its customers.
The cracker, which was brought onstream last year, provides feedstock for several downstream chemicals plants including polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and ethylene glycol (EG). It was not clear whether these facilities have been able to operate at normal capacity since Yanpet No 2 was closed.
(Joe Kamalick in Houston contributed to this article.)
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