Unipetrol-Synthos venture starts output at new butadiene unit

25 June 2010 17:58  [Source: ICIS news]

PRAGUE (ICIS news)--Czech petrochemical producer Unipetrol and Polish synthetic rubber maker Synthos have started production at a new butadiene unit at Kralupy nad Vltavou, in the Czech Republic, which will be operated by their joint-venture company, Unipetrol said on Friday.

The new 120,000 tonne/year unit, in which the two companies invested koruna (Kc) 1.2bn ($57.3m, €46.5m), replaces a 90,000 tonne/year production unit that was operated by Synthos subsidiary Synthos Kralupy, Unipetrol said in a press release.

The unit “puts Unipetrol among the 10 biggest butadiene producers in Europe”, according to Unipetrol.

Unipetrol owns 51% of the joint venture, Butadien Kralupy, with Synthos Kralupy holding the other 49%, it added.

Synthos Kralupy will still be the main consumer of the unit’s butadiene output, Unipetrol said.

The unit was expected to improve the stability of Synthos’ feedstock base and allow it to speed up key investments that will enhance its market position, Unipetrol said.

Other benefits of the new unit were that it would ensure the processing of C4 fraction from Unipetrol’s steam cracker at Litvinov and would provide raffinate 1, the feedstock of Unipetrol’s methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) unit for high-octane gasoline production, it added.

The commitment to form the joint venture to construct a new butadiene unit was part of the contract under which Unipetrol sold synthetic rubber subsidiary Kaucuk (now named Synthos Kralupy) to Synthos (then named Dwory) in 2007 for €195m.

Unipetrol is majority-owned by Poland’s PKN Orlen.

($1 = Kc20.93/€1 = Kc25.82)

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By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214



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