UpdateMost Yeosu petrochemical plants resume operations after outage

18 January 2011 09:42  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Petrochemical plants in Yeosu, South Korea, have mostly resumed operations by Tuesday afternoon, save a few facilities that suffered technical problems following Monday’s power outage, based on checks with sources at the affected companies.

Power supply tripped at 4:10pm Korea time (07:10 GMT) on Monday but was restored 20 minutes later, causing a widespread shutdown at chemical plants in Yeosu.

GS Caltex experienced some technical problems that prevented it from restarting its facilities in Yeosu, including its 760,000 bbl/day refinery and a 180,000 tonne/year polypropylene plant, company sources said.

The refinery was expected to resume production within the next 40 hours, said company spokesperson Jeong Ye-eun.

The PP plant, on the other hand, was expected to come back on stream on 20 January, said a company source who declined to be named.

Meanwhile, Sam Nam restarted its four terephthalic acid plants in Yeosu with a combined capacity of 1.8m tonnes/year but the units could not achieve on-spec output due to lack of feedstock paraxylene, said a company source.

Sam Nam relies on GS Caltex’s pipeline for half of its PX requirement of its terephthalic acid plants, the source said.

Meanwhile, Honam Petrochemical restarted its two monoethylene glycol units, with a combined capacity of 280,000 tonnes/year, late Monday afternoon and is currently running the plants at full tilt, said a company source.

Operations at most Yeosu-based polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) had also restarted by early Tuesday.

Meanwhile, BASF Urethane Korea restarted both its 160,000 tonne/year toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) plant and its 190,000 tonne/year methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) plants shortly after the electrical failure, company sources said.

Production loss was marginal, they added.

Among those units that have yet to resume operations were KPX Fine Chemical’s two 50,000 tonne/year toluene-diisocyanate (TDI) facilities, as well as Kumho Mitsui Chemical’s two methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) lines that have a combined nameplate capacity of 140,000 tonnes/year.

Initial reporting by Chow Bee Lin

With contributions from Ong Sheau Ling, Nurluqman Suratman, Becky Zhang and Liu Xin

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By: Becky Zhang
+65 6780 4359

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