Shell to restart Bukom cracker by 6 Aug after brief outage -sources

05 August 2010 08:45  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Energy giant Shell’s new 800,000 tonne/year mixed-feed cracker in Singapore is expected to resume operations by 6 August following a brief outage this week, market sources said on Thursday.

“We understand the cracker will restart tomorrow. It is a minor problem” said one trader.

Company officials were not immediately available for comment.

Market sources had earlier told ICIS that the cracker was down on Tuesday evening while a Shell spokesperson said the flare system at the site was activated that afternoon due to an unplanned disruption to a process unit. The spokesperson did not comment on the status of the cracker.

There was no immediate impact from the incident on the ethylene and propylene markets, sources said. 

Prior to the outage, the cracker was already running at reduced rates of around 80% due to unspecified issues, they added.

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

Ethylene spot prices were mainly stable at $870-900/tonne (€661-684/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) NE Asia on Thursday, unchanged from levels the previous day.

Propylene, however, moved up $10/tonne at the top end of the range to $1,150-1,200/tonne CFR NE Asia over the same period to reflect buy-sell ideas in a tightly supplied market, according to data from ICIS.

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Peh Soo Hwee
+65 6780 4359

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