Taiwan’s CPC runs crackers at 95% on robust ethylene

20 January 2010 04:54  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Taiwanese state-owned cracker operator Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC) has increased operating rates at its three crackers to 90-95% on robust ethylene margins, an industry source said on Wednesday.

Operating rates at the plants were around 85-90% in late December, the source added.

High naphtha demand helped buoy Asian prices, keeping the spread between first-half March and second-half March contract at a wide backwardation of $9/tonne, ICIS pricing data showed.

“The (naphtha) market is driven up by ethylene, so the crackers are running at higher rates of close to 95%,” said the source who insisted on anonymity.

Asian ethylene spot prices were pegged at a firm $1,280-1,320/tonne (€896-924/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) NE (north east) Asia, underpinned by tight supply of the petrochemical building block, according to ICIS pricing.

CPC had floated a tender to buy at least 30,000 tonnes of heavy naphtha for March delivery amid high operating rates.

Its biggest cracker with 500,000 tonne/year capacity, is located in Kaohsiung, while the 385,000 tonne/year No 4 and the 230,000 tonne/year crackers are located in Linyuan. CPC was expected to take its No 4 cracker off line for maintenance in the fourth quarter.

($1 = €0.70)

For more on ethylene, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS Connect
Please visit the complete ICIS plants and projects database

By: Felicia Loo

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index