GPCA ’10: Kuwait Aromatics to restart Shuaiba plant on 12 Dec

08 December 2010 02:50  [Source: ICIS news]

DUBAI (ICIS)--Kuwait Aromatics (KARO) is planning to restart its Shuaiba-based plant producing benzene and paraxylene (PX) on 12 December following an unexpected shutdown last Friday, said a company source late on Tuesday.

Power supply issues shut the unit producing 820,000 tonnes/year of PX and 400,000 tonnes/year of benzene on 3 December, prompting a declaration of a force majeure on PX supply.

The company tried to restart the facility but found leaks at two plant pipes, the source said. The problem is currently being fixed, he added.

An estimated 25,000 tonnes of PX and about 12,500 tonnes of benzene would be lost during the 10-day shutdown of the Shuaiba plant, he said.

KARO supplies its entire benzene supply from the plant to the downstream 450,000 tonne/year styrene monomer (SM) unit of Equate Petrochemical. Market sources said that the SM plant was also down, but this could not be confirmed.

KARO is a joint venture (JV) between Kuwait’s Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (QPIC).

PIC and KNPC each has a 40% stake in the JV, while QPIC owns the remaining 20%.

With additional reporting by Clive Ong

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By: Mahua Chakravarty
+65 6780 4359

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