LG Chem’s aromatics production declines on use of LPG

14 April 2009 11:29  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--South Korean aromatics producer LG Chem has seen a fall in aromatics production since March due to its use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a secondary feedstock for its crackers, a company source said on Tuesday.

The source did not specify the actual decline in aromatics production.

LG Chem’s use of LPG as a feedstock at its two crackers in Daesan and Yeosu is expected to continue until the third quarter of this year, the source said.

From July to August, the relatively lower cost of LPG at around $430/tonne (€323/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) Japan, compared with naphtha at around $460-470/tonne CFR Japan, has provided the seasonal impetus for regional crackers to maximise usage of the feedstock.

In Yeosu, LG Chem produces 220,000 tonnes/year of benzene, 100,000 tonnes/year of toluene and 55,000 tonnes/year of solvent-grade xylene.

The Daesan-based cracker and hydrodealkylation (HDA) unit produces 240,000 tonnes/year of benzene.

At least two other Korean cracker operators have also started using LPG as a feedstock, with one Asian cracker operator starting to use it in April after purchasing 30,000 tonnes of the gaseous feedstock, industry sources said.

Depending on the cracker design, as much as 10-15% of feedstock naphtha can be replaced with LPG, sources said.

Asian naphtha prices opened softer Tuesday, with price indications for the second half of May pegged at $462.50-465.50/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Japan.

($1 = €0.75)

Desmond Chia contributed to this article

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By: Mahua Chakravarty
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