Kuwait's KPC sells more naphtha on delays in aromatics plant

13 April 2009 11:49  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) sold another cargo of full-range naphtha with the delay in the start-up of its aromatics plant in Shuaiba, industry sources said on Monday.

The company sold 55,000 tonne cargo to Shell for lifting over 11-12 May at a premium of $17/tonne (€12.9/tonne) to Arab Gulf quotes FOB (free on board) Kuwait, sources said.

This follows the sale of a 50,000 tonne cargo to Mitsubishi Corp at a slightly higher premium of $17.50/tonne for lifting over 13-14 May.

KPC will not be needing the feedstock naphtha until its aromatics plant in Shuaiba commence operations.

The aromatics plant, which would be able to produce 395,000 tonnes/year of benzene and 820,000 tonnes/year of paraxylene (PX), was originally expected to start up in June.

The new start-up date is not known. A source said this was due to commissioning delays and not due to problems with margins. Aromatics and olefins margins, are currently healthy, he said.
The spreads between naphtha and ethylene were more than $250/tonne.

KPC previously sold a similar cargo to Cargill at around $27/tonne to Middle East quotes FOB (free on board) for lifting over 27-28 April.

The wide naphtha premiums had narrowed down due to an influx of European material into northeast Asia in May, market sources said.

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Desmond Chia
+65 6780 4359

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