25 September 2008 15:10 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Shell’s fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) at its Pernis refinery in the Netherlands went down unexpectedly on Wednesday due to a mechanical fault, company spokesman Win Van de Viel said on Thursday.
It was unclear when the unit, which produces an estimated 43,000 bbl/day of gasoline, would be back up.
‘The Pernis catcracker is off line now because of a mechanical problem. We first have to investigate what was the cause of the fault before starting up,” said Van de Viel.
Market participants reported little immediate effect on gasoline prices from the shutdown at a time of seasonally weaker demand.
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“There has been no effect, really,” said one source. “That’s because it’s a very thin market at the moment.”
Despite the EIA reporting US gasoline stocks at a draw of 5.1m barrels, the fifth week of draws in a row, participants saw the global slump in demand as the overriding factor in keeping the market thin.
Shell’s Pernis FCC also has the capability to produce 250,000 tonnes/year of refinery grade propylene.
Confirmed FCC turnarounds in the fourth quarter were the phased shutdown of Chevron’s Pembroke unit over September and October, and Repsol’s planned one-month shutdown at the
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