UpdateShell Singapore shuts 800,000 t/yr cracker – sources

04 August 2010 05:35  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds ethylene prices, background)

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Energy giant Shell’s new 800,000 tonne/year mixed-feed cracker in Singapore suffered an outage and was shut since Tuesday evening, market sources said on Wednesday.

The company could not be reached for comment.

“There was flaring since yesterday,” said one source.

Ethylene prices climbed up $20/tonne to $870-900/tonne CFR NE Asia on Tuesday’s close, matching prices of between $880-900/tonne CFR NE Asia four weeks ago, ICIS data showed.

Commissioned in March, the cracker - an integral part of Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex (SEPC) – could also produce 450,000 tonnes/year of propylene and 230,000 tonnes/year of benzene.

The new cracker has been running at around 80% of capacity since it was started up because of some unidentified issues, according to market sources.

SEPC is Shell’s largest fully integrated refinery and petrochemicals hub.

The olefins and aromatics products from the cracker would be used primarily for Shells downstream chemical plants in Jurong Island, including the Shell mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) plant. Its 750,000 tonne/year MEG plant in Singapore opened in December 2009.

With additional reporting by Mahua Chakravarty, Aaron Cheong, Peh Soo Hwee and Pearl Bantillo

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By: Felicia Loo

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