22 August 2006 07:52 [Source: ICIS news]
SHANGHAI (ICIS news)--Maoming Petrochemical, a subsidiary of Chinese energy major Sinopec, shut down its high-density polyethylene (hdPE)/linear low-density PE (lldPE) unit on Tuesday morning due to unidentified technical problems, company sources said.
The sources added that the shutdown period had not yet been determined. Maoming Petrochemical has a cracker that produces 380,000 tonnes/year ethylene, the 175,000 tonnes/year hdPE/linear low-density PE (lldPE) unit and a 100,000 tonnes/year ldPE unit.
Both PE lines were due to be shut in second-half August anyway to free up ethylene feedstock for the startup of a new 350,000 tonnes/year hdPE line, scheduled between August 25-28. Therefore it remains to be seen if this hdPE/lldPE line will be restarted soon as Maoming needs to build up its ethylene inventories.
Maoming is also likely to shut its 160,000 tonnes/year polypropylene (PP) unit on Tuesday in order to divert scarce propylene feedstock for the startup of their new 300,000 tonnes/year PP unit, company sources said.
Eventually, the two new PE/PP lines will receive feedstock from a new 420,000 tonnes/year cracker, which is scheduled to start mid-September after several delays.
The company is also building a 250,000 tonnes/year ldPE unit that will start up in the first quarter of 2007.
Jade Xu and Rena Gu contributed to this article.
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