China's NZLC to shut PO/SM unit in December for maintenance

20 September 2010 07:11  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Ningbo Zhenhai Lyondell Chemical (NZLC) plans to shut its propylene oxide/ styrene monomer (PO/SM) unit at Ningbo in China’s Zheijang province for a two to three-week maintenance turnaround in December, industry sources said on Monday.

The unit, which has a nameplate capacity of 285,000 tonnes/year of PO and 620,000 tonnes/year of SM, will be shut down along with other upstream facilities at the site, the source added.

The company was yet to announce the exact dates and duration of the shutdown of the PO/SM unit and the upstream facilities, sources said.

NZLC had earlier scheduled the PO/SM unit turnaround for October but had delayed it to December to match the shutdown schedule of the upstream facilities, they added.

The company was heard to have reduced operating rates at the unit for a few days between late August and early September due to technical problems, PO buyers from NZLC said, but did not provide further details.

The unit had subsequently begun operating at full tilt due to normal operations at the  upstream refinery and cracker, market sources said, adding that NZLC may lower operating rates slightly again in October due to continuing technical problems.

However, NZLC officials declined to comment.

The company completed the construction of the PO/SM unit in late April and had begun producing on-spec material from 18 June.

NZLC is a joint venture between China's Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Co (ZRCC), a subsidiary of Sinopec, and US's LyondellBasell.

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By: Ong Sheau Ling
+65 6780 4359

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