FREP delays China cracker start-up to end August/early September

20 August 2009 11:12  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Co (FREP) has delayed the start-up of its new 800,000 tonne/year steam cracker at Quanzhou, southern China, to the end of August/early September from the first half of August, a company source said on Thursday.

The source declined to say what caused the delay.

Commercial runs at the company’s polyethylene (PE) facilities at the same site, consisting of a 400,000 tonne/year high density PE (HDPE) line and a 400,000 tonne/year linear low density PE (LLDPE) unit, were also expected to begin around the same time, the source said.

The PE plants started trial production earlier using ethylene purchased from the spot market, but were currently shut, the source added.

However, some local sources said the cracker could start up before the end of the month.

“The company should be feeding naphtha to the cracker next week around 25 August,” one trader said in Mandarin.

The cracker was originally scheduled to start up in the first half of August and the PE plants were initially due to start commercial production during the same period.

The complex also includes a new 400,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant that was undergoing trial runs, the company source said. He did not know when the PP line would be ready to start commercial production.

FREP is a joint venture between ExxonMobil (25%), Saudi Aramco (25%) and Fujian Petrochemical (50%).

Fujian Petrochemical is a 50:50 joint venture between the Fujian provincial government and Chinese energy major Sinopec.

Additional reporting by Peh Soo Hwee
For more on cracker, PE, PP visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Chow Bee Lin
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