Petro Rabigh's cracker may be shut again on unstable output

30 March 2009 02:56  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Saudi Arabia’s Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co (Petro Rabigh) had started up its 1.25m tonne/year cracker last week but production has remained unstable that a shutdown could be imminent, sources close to the company said on Monday.

This was the second attempt to start the plant up this month, said one of the sources.

“As far as we can see, it’s not very smooth-going and we may have to shut it down again to restart later but commercial production in April remains possible,” said the source.

Petro Rabigh is a $10bn (€7.5bn) joint venture between state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco and Japan's Sumitomo Chemicals.

Officials from Sumitomo and Saudi Aramco did not confirm if the cracker started up properly.

Petro Rabigh’s derivative operations at the complex include a 600,000 tonne/year monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant and a 350,000 tonne/year LLDPE (linear low density polyethylene) facility.

The complex also houses a 300,000 tonne/year high density PE (HDPE) line, a 250,000 tonne/year easy processing PE (EPPE) unit and a 700,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant.

Its downstream units would come on line once the cracker successfully starts up, Petro Rabigh had said earlier. 

($1 = €0.75)

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By: Salmon Aidan Lee
+65 6780 4359

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