23 January 2007 04:45 [Source: ICIS news]
By Prema Viswanathan
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Jam Petrochemical, a subsidiary of Iran’s National Petrochemical Co (NPC), has delayed commercial production at its cracker to end-2007 from August due to limited funds and shortage of skilled manpower, sources close to the project said on Monday.
This is the fifth time Jam has delayed the start-up of its 1.32m tonne/year cracker project at Assaluyeh, which can produce 305,000 tonnes/year of propylene.
The cracker, also known as Olefins No 10, was originally expected to be completed by end-2005. The start-up date was later postponed to July 2006, then to late 2006 and to the third quarter of 2007.
"However, the polyethylene (PE) facilities downstream of the 1.32m tonne/year mixed feed cracker have already achieved mechnical completion and will start up in August, using ethylene from the adjoining 1m tonne/year Arya Sasol cracker, [which is] expected to go on stream in July 2007," one of the sources said.
Funding for the PE units was made available by a private bank, the source added.
The Jam project includes a high density polyethylene (HDPE) unit, a HDPE/linear low density PE (LLDPE) unit and a polypropylene (PP) unit each with a capacity of 300,000 tonnes/year.
"The PP project and the 440,000 tonne/year ethylene glycol (EG) unit downstream of the Jam cracker are expected to start up only at the beginning of 2008, after the cracker goes on stream," the source said.
A 115,000 tonne/year butadiene unit, which is also part of the complex, was expected to go on stream only in 2008, a second source said.
Money has dried up for the butadiene project for which 70% of procurement had been completed. Getting additional financing for the unit through government loans could take a few months, the source said.
Arya Sasol's cracker complex, or Olefins No 9, includes a low density PE (LDPE) unit and a medium density PE (MDPE)/HDPE plant, each with a capacity of 300,000 tonnes/year. Arya Sasol is a joint venture between NPC and South Africa's Sasol.
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