Iran’s Borzouyeh, BIPC keep aroms units shut on blending demand

13 October 2010 04:15  [Source: ICIS news]

Pars gas field in Iran

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Iran’s Borzouyeh Petrochemical Co and Bandar Imam Petrochemical Co (BIPC) are undecided on the restart date of their aromatics units, as feedstock reformate was in demand for gasoline production, a source close to the companies said late on Tuesday.

“Borzouyeh and BIPC have not restarted [their plants], as reformate is being used for blending,” he said. 

The two plants, operated by the country’s National Petrochemical Co (NPC), were taken off line at the end of August, after the US imposed sanctions on importing gasoline into Iran.

Borzouyeh Petrochemical produces 430,000 tonnes/year of benzene at Assaluyeh, while BIPC produces another 180,000 tonnes/year of the product at Bandar Imam.

Due to these shutdowns, benzene exports from Iran have been affected and NPC has informed its customers about the disruption in supply, the source added. 

The company was also unsure about when its two downstream styrene monomer (SM) and paraxylene (PX) units, which are also off line at present, would be restarted, he mentioned.

Pars Petrochemical Co’s 600,000 tonne/year styrene monomer (SM) plant and NPC’s 700,000 tonne/year No 4 PX unit were also shut down at around the same time as the aromatics units.

Iran is a net exporter of benzene into Europe and Asia.

However, Pars Petrochemical has been diverting benzene for SM production since its start-up in the beginning of this year, and has reduced the country’s export volume.

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By: Mahua Chakravarty
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