Saudi Arabia’s Yansab starts up PP plant 30 Aug

04 September 2009 07:58  [Source: ICIS news]

(recasts lead, adds PP market update)

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Saudi Arabia's Yanbu National Petrochemical Co (Yansab) started up its 400,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant last Sunday, a company source said on Friday.

This represents about a month's delay from the company's early-August schedule.

“The propylene feeding process was completed on 27 August for the plant to start PP production on 30 August,” the source added.

Propylene feedstock for the PP plant, which is using Dow technology, is being sourced from Yansab’s 1.3m tonne/year ethane cracker that started up last week.

The cracker is currently running at one-third of its nameplate capacity, said another source.

Yansab is expected to begin exporting PP by the end of September once it builds adequate inventories, said a source close to the company.

The company plans to export linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and high density PE (HDPE) from its Yanbu facility by end September and end October, respectively, sources close to the company had said earlier on.

Besides the cracker and the PP plant, the Yansab complex includes a 400,000 tonne/year HDPE plant that will produce black PE 100 compounded pipe grade, a linear low density PE (LDPE) unit with the same capacity, and a 700,000 tonne/year monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant. These three plants also started up late last month.

Yansab is owned by petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Co (SABIC).

The current tightness in the Middle East PP market was expected to ease once Yansab starts selling PP cargoes, market sources said.

"PP prices could also stabilise once exports from Yansab begin late September," said one of the sources.

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