Formosa eyes PP ops cuts in March on cracker problems

03 March 2009 04:15  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics (FPC) may have to cut production at its Linyuan polypropylene (PP) plants with the expected delay in the start-up of Formosa Petrochemical Corp’s (FPCC) No 1 cracker after Monday’s blast, a company source said on Tuesday.

Production at the 350,000 tonne/year PP facilities may be cut by 10-15% from 100% in the second half of March due to possible shortage of on-site propylene, the source said. FPC derives its propylene feedstock from its sister company FPCC.

An explosion at FPCC’s No 1 cracker on Monday, which killed one worker, is anticipated to push back the plant’s start up from the original schedule of 5 March, the source said.

“FPCC is running its No 3 cracker at 70% capacity so our propylene supply is still adequate, but if the operating rate falls below 70%, we’ll run short of feedstock,” the source said.

FPCC had planned to restart its No 1 cracker on 5 March and shut its No 3 cracker on 8 March for maintenance.

“We’re not sure when the No 1 cracker will restart and how long they can put off the No 3 cracker maintenance,” he said, referring to cracker operator FPCC.

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By: Chow Bee Lin
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