Japan's Asahi Kasei to shut Mizushima benzene line 17 February

09 February 2010 09:49  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Japanese producer Asahi Kasei will shut down its Mizushima-based benzene line next week for a 60-day turnaround, said a company source on Tuesday.

The 300,000 tonne/year unit would be taken off line on 17 February for regular maintenance, the source said.

The move was in line with the shutdown at a 300,000 tonne/year downstream styrene monomer (SM) unit at the same site on 15 February. This SM unit would be off line for more than two months, the source added.

Asahi Kasei runs a second SM unit with a capacity of 390,000 tonnes/year, which is set for a three-week maintenance turnaround on 14 March.

The company’s procurement of benzene for March and April has declined by about 50% to about 20,000 tonnes/month due to the maintenance shutdowns at plants.

Asahi Kasei is a net buyer of benzene for its two SM units, and purchases about 40,000 tonnes/month of benzene, mostly on contract basis.

The company is also one of the largest buyers of benzene in Japan.

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By: Mahua Chakravarty
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