Petro Rabigh runs polymer units at full rates after outage

11 May 2010 15:05  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co (Petro Rabigh) has achieved full output at its polymer plants in Saudi Arabia after restarting them at the end of April following a two-week outage, sources close to the company said on Tuesday.

“The unplanned shutdown was due to a technical issue and affected only the polymer plants,” said one of the sources, adding that the rest of the complex had been running normally during the outage.

The outage tightened the supply of polymers in the Middle East market, traders said.

“Supply of polypropylene (PP) in particular has been extremely short in recent weeks,” said a Dubai-based trader.

Prices for May cargoes in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region have risen by $40/tonne (€31/tonne) from April levels due to tight supply, reaching $1,330-1,360/tonne CFR (cost and freight), according data from global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

Petro Rabigh, a joint venture between state-owned Saudi Aramco and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical, operates a cracker complex at Rabigh, on Saudi Arabia’s western coast.

The complex houses a 1.3m tonne/year ethane cracker, a 300,000 tonne/year high density PE (HDPE) line, a 600,000 tonne/year linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) facility, a 600,000 tonne/year PP plant and a 700,000 tonne/year monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant.

($1 = €0.78)

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By: Prema Viswanathan
+65 6780 4359

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