China keeps petchem output stable despite snow

29 January 2008 09:56  [Source: ICIS news]

SHANGHAI(ICIS news)--Major petrochemical companies in China are still keeping normal operating rates at their plants despite heavy snowstorms that cut power supply in some provinces, said the companies on Tuesday.

Some power transmission lines connecting the provinces were broken and frozen by the heavy snow. Bad weather aggravated the power shortage problem as coal could not be transported to power plants.

In eastern China, Sinopec subsidiaries such as Shanghai Petrochemical, Yangzi Petrochemical, Yizheng Chemical and Fibre and Zhenhai Refining and Chemical were operating normally as they have their own power generators, company sources said.

"We had generators to supply power to operation. The coal for electricity is transported by ships [so] our plant is running normally," said a source from Yizheng Chemical in Jiangsu province, east China.

An official from Yangzi Petrochemical said the heavy snow affected road transportation in Jiangsu province and they had to put their goods into warehouses.

Shanghai Coking and Chemicals also kept normal operations as their methanol was transported mainly by pipe, a company source said.

In central Hunan province, Sinopec subsidiary Baling Petrochemical reduced their operating rate a little due to electricity shortage but there was no big impact on the whole, a company source said.

The heavy snow made it difficult to transport caustic soda and hydrochloric acid, he added.

In southern Guangdong province, an official at CNOOC & Shell Petrochemicals Co (CSPC) said: "Our operation mainly depends on oil, not electricity and we have our own generators.

"In the meantime, the weather problems and electricity shortage are not affecting our operating rate."

An official from the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association said the bad weather had an impact on the chemical transportation, but operating rates of large petrochemical plants hadn't been affected as most producers had warehouses to keep their goods.

The China Meteorological Administration issued on early Monday a red alert for severe snowstorms in central and eastern China, which will add the difficulties to the goods transportation.

By: Judith Wang
+65 6780 4359

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