PCS mulls more non-naphtha cracker feed

22 May 2007 05:29  [Source: ICIS news]

By Nurul Darni

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Petrochemical Corp of Singapore (PCS) will consider increasing the usage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) feedstock if the economics are more attractive as Asia naphtha prices continue to be high, a source close to the company said on Tuesday.

“We are checking the economics of using some LPG in our cracker and if the economics are good, we can consider using some LPG as feed,” the source said, with regards to its two naphtha crackers.

PCS has two crackers at Jurong Island, with the No.2 cracker producing 615,000 tonnes/year ethylene and 320,000 tonnes/year propylene.

The cracker has a new metathesis plant with a 200,000 tonnes/year of propylene capacity.

The smaller No.1 cracker has an ethylene capacity of 465,000 tonnes/year and propylene capacity of 270,000 tonnes/year.

The Singapore-based company recently switched up to 10% of its feedstock to gasoil following Asia naphtha’s record-high prices this year, the source said.

Naphtha’s rapid price uptrend had prompted several end users in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan this year to switch some percentage of their cracker feedstock use to cheaper alternatives such as LPG, butane and natural gas liquids (NGL).

Asia’s open-spec naphtha price jumped to a new all-time high at $733/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Japan late on Monday.

Strong naphtha demand for gasoline blending in the US has averted a looming excess of the product in Asia and drove naphtha prices soaring this month, traders said.

“We are still maintaining our gasoil feed portion for now and are weighing our options on how we can best source LPG feedstock from, if we should decide on it,” the source close to PCS said.

PCS is a 50:50 joint venture company between Japan-Singapore Petrochemicals Co and oil major Shell.

By: Nurul Darni
65 6789 4359

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