Nippon Oil shuts Mizushima TDP unit on poor margins

10 February 2009 03:42  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Japanese aromatics producer Nippon Oil has shut down its Mizushima-based toluene disproportionation (TDP) unit for an indefinite period due to poor margins, said a company source late on Monday.

The unit producing 15,000tonnes/month of benzene and 15,000 tonnes/month of mixed xylenes was taken off line at the start of this year as feedstock toluene values were higher than benzene, he said.

Nippon Oil has no immediate plans to restart the unit as this would depend on the state of production margins, the source added.

Toluene prices in Asia have remained above benzene in about a couple of months, cutting into TDP and hydro-dealkylation (HDA) margins and forcing a number of regional producers to take units off line.

Currently, toluene prices in Asia at $595-610/tonne (€464-476/tonne) FOB (free on board) Korea were $170-175/tonne higher than benzene, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

($1 = €0.78)

For more information on aromatics, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Mahua Chakravarty
+65 6780 4359

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