13 August 2007 06:53 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Farsa Petrochemical was heard looking to buy spot ethylene in order to startup its new 400,000 tonne/year monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant in Iran later this month, a source close to the company said Monday.
This was contrary to earlier reports that the plant at Assaluyeh would startup only at end-2007.
"I heard they’re trying to source ethylene within Iran, the construction work of the plant is completed and they hope to startup by the end of August," said the source but was sceptical about Farsa being successful in getting the spot ethylene it needed.
Privately-owned Farsa’s MEG plant is part of the No10 Olefins complex operated by Jam Petrochemical, an affiliate of Iranian state-owned National Petrochemical Co (NPC).
Jam’s cracker would startup only later this year, and thus could not feed Farsa’s MEG yet.
It was earlier learnt that Farsa could source ethylene from Arya Sasol, which recently started up its 1m tonne/year cracker at Assaluyeh.
But attempts to confirm such a purchase were unsuccessful.
Most market observers also cast doubts over Farsa’s early startup, as ethylene was net short globally. Most instead believed that Farsa’s MEG would startup only after Jam’s 1.32m tonne/year cracker starts at the end of this year.
"Buying spot ethylene now and feeding into the plant for the next few months doesn’t quite make sense, so I think [Farsa] is better off waiting for regular ethylene supply to come from the [Jam] cracker," said a Japanese trader familiar with Iran’s petrochemical projects.
Farsa took over the MEG project from NPC in 2004. Its onstream date was officially put as August this year, but was reportedly pushed back to end of the year in July, in order to coincide with Jam’s cracker startup.
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