Iran’s Borzouyeh, BIPC aromatics plants shut indefinitely

30 August 2010 11:39  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Iran’s state-owned Borzouyeh Petrochemical and Bandar Imam Petrochemical Company (BIPC) shut their aromatics plants last week for unspecified reasons, with no fix dates on when the facilities will restart, said a source close to the company on Monday.

Borzouyeh's aromatics facilty that produces 480,000 tonnes/year of benzene is located in Assaluyeh and BIPC's plant that has a benzene capacity of 180,000 tonnes/year is in Bandar Imam. The two facilities are operated by National Petrochemical Company (NPC).

Industry sources said that production at the facilities were halted as Iran was planning to use aromatics in its domestic gasoline blending pool, given that the country's imports of the fuel were under international sanctions.

The impact of these shutdowns would be felt more by the downstream paraxylene (PX) and styrene monomer (SM) plants, as seen with the shutdowns of NPC’s 700,000 tonnes/year No 4 PX plant and PARS’ 600,000 tonnes/year SM units, market sources added.

PX end-users in Asia received an announcement from the Iranian producer late last week about a cut in term supply from Iran, and these buyers are looking to purchase on formula basis, said some PX market sources.

Iran exports about 500,000 tonnes/year of PX to Asia, market sources said. Whether the supply cut would be full or partial was not clear, they added.

Some PX producers quickly snapped up a few lots at the end last week, with some tightness expected on supply of first-half October material, sources said.

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By: Mahua Chakravarty
+65 6780 4359

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