Lukoil to restart 80,000 tonne/year PP unit in Bulgaria

23 November 2010 13:13  [Source: ICIS news]

PRAGUE (ICIS)--Lukoil plans to restart an 80,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) unit at its mothballed Lukoil Neftochim petrochemical division at Burgas in Bulgaria, the Russian company said on Tuesday.

Lukoil spokesman Vladimir Semakov said plans were also in hand to reopen some of the other petrochemical plants at the Black Sea coast subsidiary.

The plants were mothballed in 2009 due to poor market conditions following the world economic downturn.

In September, Lukoil said the petrochemical division could be shut for good because “the existing technological scheme of petrochemical production at the Burgas refinery in Bulgaria doesn't allow for it to be made profitable”.

However, the company has now said it had placed the situation under review and the recommendation it had now accepted was to go ahead with a partial reopening, although no dates for this were given.

Last week, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, on a visit to Bulgaria, announced Lukoil would invest between $1.5bn (€1.1bn) and $2bn in Lukoil Neftochim, which runs Bulgaria's only operational refinery.

Lukoil Neftochim said the majority of this investment would be spent on constructing a hydrocracking complex, and could not yet say whether some of the capital would be spent on the petrochemical division.

The division's plants also include a 150,000 tonne/year ethylene cracker; an 85,000 tonne/year low density polyethylene (LDPE) facility; an 80,000 tonne/year ethylene oxide (EO) plant; a 100,000 tonne/year monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant; and a 10,000 tonne/year ethanolamines unit.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214



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