07 January 2009 08:36 [Source: ICIS news]SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--South Korea’s SK Energy raised the operating rate at its 690,000 tonne/year No 2 naphtha cracker in Ulsan to 85% this month due to improved polyethylene demand, a company source said on Wednesday.
The producer was targeting to increase output to above 90% of capacity in February but this would hinge on the supply of naphtha feedstock and butadiene inventories.
SK Energy was running the cracker at 70% in December.
“There is too much BD (butadiene) and at the same time, naphtha is short,” the source said.
There were no immediate plans to restart the company’s smaller 190,000 tonne/year No 1 naphtha cracker at the same site. The facility was taken off line in October 2008 due to poor economics.
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