07 September 2006 05:28 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Petrochemical Corp of Singapore (PCS) is in the process of ramping up production at its No 2 cracker after successfully restarting it on schedule over a week ago, a source close to the company said on Thursday.
The 615,000 tonnes/year ethylene and 320,000 tonnes/year propylene plant was shut for over a month for maintenance and was restarted on 27 August. The new olefins conversion unit, or metathesis unit, was also brought back on stream on 1 September, and will supply 200,000 tonnes/year of propylene to a newly converted polypropylene (PP) line of the same capacity belonging to The Polyolefin Co (TPC).
PCS’s ethylene balance will be in slight surplus due to the conversion of the PP plant from linear low density polyethylene (lldPE) and PCS could have some export availability in October, the source added.
Ethylene prices have flirted with a fresh 13-year high of close to $1,500/tonne CFR Southeast Asia this week on the back of tight supply.
The company’s benzene, toluene and xylenes (BTX) plant, which was shut completely from 28 July, is also back in production, the source said. The BTX plant can produce around 165,000 tonnes/year of benzene, 90,000 tonnes/year of toluene and 63,000 tonnes/year of xylenes.
Market sentiment is currently bearish for aromatics. Benzene, toluene and mixed xylenes prices have fallen steadily in the past month, resulting in a general sense of caution among buyers and end-users.
PCS is a joint venture company between oil major Shell (50%) and Japan-Singapore Petrochemicals (50%), in which Sumitomo Chemicals is a major shareholder. PCS’s No 1 cracker has an ethylene capacity of 465,000 tonnes/year and propylene capacity of 270,000 tonnes/year.
Mahua Mitra contributed to this article
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