06 April 2009 12:20 [Source: ICIS news]
TOKYO (ICIS news)--Japan’s largest ethylene producer Mitsubishi Chemical (MCC) has ramped up the combined operating rate of its three crackers in Japan to 75-80% since the start of April to build up stocks ahead of scheduled major maintenance, a company official said on Monday.
The operating rate of the three crackers was 70% in March, the official added.
The producer planned to shut its 375,000 tonne/year Kashima No 1 cracker in Kashima, ?xml:namespace>
The 450,000 tonne/year cracker in Mizushima,
MCC planned to shut most of its downstream plants for scheduled maintenance around the same period, including its 371,000 tonne/year styrene monomer (SM) unit in Kashima, which would be taken offline for 40 days from the end of June until mid-August, the official said.
The operating rate of the SM unit had been increased to 80% since the beginning of April, according to the official. It had been operating at 60% in March.
Meanwhile, Japanese ethylene producers including Showa Denko K K, Mitsui Chemicals, Sumitomo Chemical and Maruzen Petrochemical also aimed to raise the operating rate of their crackers due to an expected recovery in derivative polymer demand.
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