13 April 2010 10:24 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Iran’s Arya Sasol Petrochemical plans to shut its 1m tonne/year cracker at Assaluyeh this month for two to three weeks of scheduled maintenance, a source close to the company said on Tuesday.
"The cracker will be progressively shut from 15 to 17 April," the source added.
Ethylene exports from the country were expected to be reduced this month, the source said, but did not provide further details.
Monthly ethylene exports in the first quarter were around four-five cargoes, equivalent to 20,000-25,000 tonnes, the source added.
Separately, Morvarid Petrochemical was in the process of restarting its 500,000 tonne/year cracker at the same site after an unplanned shutdown in late March for technical modification works, the source said.
The cracker had come on stream after mid-March this year, the source added.
Ethylene from Morvarid was expected to be supplied to Arvand Petrochemical Co’s chlor-alkali complex at Bandar Imam, which was in the commissioning process, the source said.
The ethylene cargoes would be shipped by vessel to the Arvand complex when Morvarid Petrochemical resumed operations at the cracker as a pipeline connecting the two areas was yet to be completed, the source added.
The Arvand complex includes a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant, a vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) unit and an ethylene dichloride (EDC) facility, each of which has a capacity of 340,000 tonnes/year. A 635,000 tonne/year caustic soda line is also part of the project.
Limited ethylene supplies from the Middle East and northeast Asia were keeping prices firm in the Asia region. Selling ideas were pegged in the high $1,200s/tonne (€888/tonne) to $1,300/tonne CFR (cost and freight) NE (northeast) Asia while buying ideas were capped at $1,200-1,250/tonne CFR NE Asia, market sources said.
"Recently there have been no cargoes from the Middle East for sale," an ethylene oxide producer said in Mandarin, adding that it could consider paying around $1,250/tonne CFR China for spot parcels depending on the origin of the cargoes.
Last week, tight supply in southeast Asia saw some traders offering ethylene for prompt arrival within April as high as $1,250/tonne CFR SE (southeast) Asia but buying ideas were at $1,150-1,200/tonne CFR SE Asia, market sources said.
($1 = €0.74)For more on PVC, VCM and caustic soda visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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