RASCO ramps up Ras Lanuf, Libya cracker

02 June 2010 12:45  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)—Libya’s Ras Lanuf Oil & Gas Processing Company (RASCO) is currently ramping up operating rates at its Ras Lanuf cracker and expects to reach full rates by tomorrow, a company source said on Wednesday.

“We are running at 80-85% - every day we increase,” the source said.

The cracker had gone down for a planned 45-day maintenance turnaround on 1 April, and after around ten days’ delay was restarted on 27 May.

The cracker has the capacity to produce 330,000 tonnes/year ethylene and 170,000 tonnes/year propylene, according to ICIS plants and projects data.

RASCO is a subsidiary of the National Oil Company of Libya (NOC).

Owing to its location, the Ras Lanuf cracker is a key supplier of olefins to consumers in the Mediterranean basin. Ethylene (C2) had tightened as a result of RASCO’s and other company's cracker problems throughout May and spot levels reached as high as €950-1,000/tonne ($1,158-1,219/tonne) CIF (cost insurance freight) Mediterranean, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

However, both the ethylene and propylene (C3) markets now appeared to be coming under pressure from falling prices on olefins and their derivatives in Asia. Spot prices were being pegged in the low to mid €900s/tonne CIF Med.

($1 =€0.82)

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By: Nel Weddle
+44 20 8652 3214

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