07 May 2008 05:56 [Source: ICIS news]
By Brian Myung
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Yeochun Naphtha Cracking Centre (YNCC) restarted its No 1 benzene, toluene, mixed xylene (BTX) and styrene monomer (SM) plant this morning in line with its related cracker and intends to get its No 2 and No 3 crackers up by the weekend, a company source said on Wednesday.
“The No 1 BTX plant is running at 58% capacity rate and the SM plant is running at half,” he said. YNCC is ?xml:namespace>
“YNCC’s No 1 naphtha cracker is now running at 50% production rate and we will try to restart No 3 400,000 tonne/year naphtha cracker tonight. We may try to restart our No 2 550,000 tonne/year cracker on Friday, depending on how early the maintenance works can be completed,” he said.
With the restart of the first cracker, YNCC has also started up its 140,000 tonne/year benzene, 80,000 tonne/year toulene and 50,000 tonne/year mixed xylenes No 1 BTX plant together with its 285,000 tonne/year SM plant.
The plants had been down due to a power outage since 3 May.
The power outage in Yeosu, South Korea, caused by an explosion in Hanwha Chemical’s lighting arrestor unit, happened on 3 May at 4.30 pm local time (0730 GMT) and lasted for 10 hours, forcing the shutdown of several plants in its vicinity.
YNCC had to shut down all three of its crackers, together with its BTX and SM plants.
Indirectly affected by the power outage, Kolon Chemicals, Daelim Industrial and Polymirae were all forced to shutdown their plants due to the cut in supply of ethylene and propylene feedstock from YNCC.
Hanwha, which was receiving ethylene feedstock and utilities from YNCC was also forced to shut down all its plants, including all three linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) lines, both low density polyethylene (LDPE) lines, a oxo-alcohol plant and a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) unit on the same day.
No significant damage was reported for YNCC’s No 1 and No 3 cracker but the No 2 cracker was found to be having major mechanical difficulties.
On Monday morning, YNCC tried to restart its 400,000 tonne/year No 3 cracker but to no avail. The following attempt later in the evening however, was successful, producing on-spec material at 50% production rate by early Tuesday morning.
The company’s No 2 cracker was estimated to take up to a month before it could be restarted.
Hanwha, also restarted both of its (LDPE) lines total capacity of 327,000 tonne/year with ethylene from its existing stocks.
With its No 3 cracker on stream, YNCC also restarted its BTX and SM plants on Tuesday morning. Daelim Industries also restarted its high density polyethylene (HDPE) lines with a combined capacity of 260,000 tonnes/year.
This was however, only for a short while as YNCC suffered yet another power outage which forced the company to shutdown the cracker again.
The shutdown of all three YNCC’s naphtha crackers has had an impact on the domestic polyolefins market.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections