PARS Petrochemical shuts Iran SM plant on benzene shortage

24 August 2010 17:06  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--PARS Petrochemical has shut its 600,000 tonne/year styrene monomer (SM) plant at Assaluyeh, Iran, due to a shortage of the feedstock benzene, market sources said on Tuesday.

“The plant is expected to be shut for around one month,” said a China-based SM trader.

The SM facility was taken off line on 22 August after the supply of benzene from Borzouyeh Petrochemical’s 430,000 tonnes/year plant, also at Assaluyeh, was shut down due to production problems, sources added.

Borzouyeh Petrochemical, which is part of the Iranian state-owned National Petrochemical Co (NPC), could be also diverting its aromatics supply for gasoline blending, as Iran must now produce more gasoline as a result of limited gasoline imports due to trade sanctions, according to an aromatics trader based in the region.

Sources at National Petrochemical Co were not available for comment.

“Several traders in Asia with buy contracts from the company had received notice that supply for September cargoes would be cancelled,” said an SM producer in China.  

A broker said: “Traders affected by the supply cut could be sourcing for spot parcels to meet their contract obligations.”

Spot SM prices rose by nearly $10/tonne from 23 August to Tuesday, reaching $1,130-1,135/tonne (€893-897/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) China, as traders bought parcels for September arrival.

($1 = €0.79)

Mahua Chakravarty contributed to this article

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By: Clive Ong
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