Al-Waha Petchem shuts Al-Jubail PP unit on technical woes

08 September 2010 11:56  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Saudi Arabia-based Al-Waha Petrochemical Co shut its polypropylene (PP) unit in Al-Jubail last week because of an undisclosed technical problem, a source close to the petrochemical company said on Wednesday.

The company was expected to bring the 450,000 tonne/year facility back on stream some time this week, said the source.

However, the source was unable to provide an exact date.

The outage was not likely to impact PP supply in the Middle East as demand was currently lacking, the source added.

Middle East PP prices were last assessed as up by $10–30/tonne (€8–24/tonne) on 3 September, amid tight supply and firm feedstock propylene values, ICIS data showed.

Al-Waha Petrochemical is a 75:25 joint venture between SAHARA Petrochemicals Co and LyondellBasell

Meanwhile, Saudi Ethylene & Polyethylene Co (SEPC), another subsidiary of SAHARA Petrochemicals, was not operating its polyethylene (PE) plants at full capacity, said the source.

However, there would be no impact on polyethylene prices as demand was not very strong with the onset of the fasting month of Ramadan, he said.

SEPC runs a 400,000 tonne/year high density polyethylene (HDPE) unit and a 400,000 tonne/year low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant at Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

The company had taken both plants off line in the beginning of August after experiencing a technical issue.

SEPC is a joint venture of National Industrialisation Co (TASNEE) with a 50.6% stake, SAHARA Olefins Co with a 24.4% interest and LyondellBasell, which holds the remaining 25% of the company.

PE prices increased by $10–50/tonne in the Middle East last week on limited supply following outages at some plants in the region. HDPE film numbers were particularly affected and rose sharply by $40/tonne, as assessed by ICIS.

($1 = €0.79)

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By: Saru Thukral
+44 208652 3214

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