15 July 2010 12:12 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Sinopec subsidiary Yangzi Petrochemical plans to shut its three PTA units in Nanjing, with a total capacity of 1.3m tonnes/year, in mid-August for a month to carry out maintenance, a company source said on Thursday.
Yangzi operates two 350,000 tonne/year PTA units at its Liuhe site in the outskirts of ?xml:namespace>
The shutdown was in line with maintenance at its upstream 650,000 tonne/year naphtha cracker, the source said. Its upstream 800,000 tonne/year paraxylene (PX) plant would also be shut , he added.
“We had proposed to the headquarters to delay the shutdowns at PTA units to avoid the same period shutdown with another PTA major, but it was rejected as it is an integrated maintenance,” the source said.
ICIS had earlier reported Xiamen Xianglu Petrochemical planned a half-month shutdown at its 1.5m tonne/year PTA units in mid August.
“We decided to cut contract volumes to our clients in August,” said the source, adding that Sinopec was still under negotiation with clients about the reduction of volumes.
“Domestic PTA supply will definitely be tightened at that time,” said an Zhejiang-based end-user, adding that the company was buying some September PTA futures on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange in a bid to secure sufficient feedstock.
“But the demand side is also likely to fall in August and September because of intensive shutdowns at downstream polyester sector,” a trader noted.
Five polyester plants, in Zhejiang province, totalling 1.44m tonne/year capacity, had announced 15-day shutdown plans in August due to restrictions on electricity use of industries in Zhejiang province, the trader said.
Other polyester plants in the area were expected to reduce operating rates, which would in turn pull down the demand for PTA, he added.
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