Petro Rabigh slashes PP export cargoes in Sept to build inventory

03 September 2010 02:59  [Source: ICIS news]

Petro Rabigh Chemical Vessel

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co (Petro Rabigh) has slashed export cargoes in September after the restart of its 700,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia, in order to build inventory, a source familiar with the company said on Friday.

“Only key customers are being supplied, as the company has very limited stocks at present,” the source said, adding the company had cut its allocations for September by 60-70%.

"The company is in the process of ramping up operating rates at the plant and expects to achieve full output only by 6 September," the source said. Petro Rabigh would begin to export PP again in October, he added.

No company officials were immediately available for comment.

The PP plant was taken off line in early August because of a shortage of feedstock propylene, on the back of an outage at the company’s fluid catalytic cracker (FCC). It was restarted on 27 August.

The unplanned shutdown of the PP plant had tightened the product’s supply in the Middle East market, said traders.

Petro Rabigh has a total installed propylene capacity of 900,000 tonnes/year.

The propylene and PP units are part of the company’s cracker complex at Rabigh, on Saudi Arabia’s western coast.

The complex also houses a 1.3m tonne/year ethane cracker, a 300,000 tonne/year high density polyethylene (HDPE) line, a 600,000 tonne/year linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) line and a 700,000 tonne/year monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant.

Petro Rabigh is a joint venture between state-owned Saudi Aramco and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical Co.

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By: Prema Viswanathan
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