Japan’s Idemitsu, Mitsui, Sumitomo start up crude C4 to C3 unit

25 January 2010 12:44  [Source: ICIS news]

TOKYO (ICIS news)--Japanese refiner Idemitsu Kosan and chemical producers Mitsui Chemicals and Sumitomo Chemical have started up their Y10bn ($111m) joint olefin conversions unit (OCU) demonstration at Ichihara in Chiba prefecture, four months later than planned, a spokesman from Idemitsu Kosan said on Monday.

“You can say [the unit] was slightly delayed, but [the unit] had already been completed. We were making adjustments. We’ve started almost full-rate operation today,” the spokesman said in Japanese.

The OCU, located at Mitsui’s plant in Ichihara, would produce 150,000 tonnes/year of propylene (C3) from C4 fractions and ethylene if the production system operates as planned, according to the spokesman.

Idemitsu, Mitsui and Sumitomo will collect the C4 fractions produced at the Ichihara petrochemical complex - where the three companies separately operate their own plants.

The production process is being tested as part of the government-sponsored RING (Refinery Integration for Group Operation) III programme, the spokesman said.

“Each company will offtake [propylene] according to the ratio of the feedstocks they supply. They are free to use [propylene] however they want, including selling it,” the spokesman said.

Idemitsu would contribute 50% of the feedstock, and Mitsui and Sumitomo would provide 25% each, which represented the same ratio as the producers’ stakes in the project, the spokesman added.

Idemitsu, Mitsui and Sumitomo were yet to decide on how the project would progress if the production process was proven successful, the spokesman said

($1 = Y90.05)

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By: Tomomi Yokomura
+65 6780 4359

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