YNCC restarts Yeosu downstream units; No 1 cracker still shut

24 February 2011 07:09  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korean producer YNCC has restarted its downstream units in Yeosu on Thursday but kept its 857,000 tonne/year No 1 cracker shut, following a power failure on 22 February, a company official said.

The cracker’s restart would have to be delayed to Friday evening, at the earliest, or this weekend, as repairs to its damaged furnaces were still being carried out, the official said.

The plants producing butadiene (BD), styrene monomer (SM) and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) at the site resumed operations, the official said.

The BD plant has a 240,000 tonne/year capacity, while the SM plant has a 285,000 tonne/year capacity. The MTBE plant’s annual production capacity is 170,000 tonnes/year.

Meanwhile, the power failure late Tuesday afternoon had damaged the cracker's furnaces and repairs may take a while to be completed, the official said.

“Half of the [cracker’s] 12 furnaces were seriously damaged and we need more time for repairs - maybe 20 to 25 days. But some of the unaffected furnaces will be restarted [soon],” the official said.

The No 1 cracker may operate at a reduced rate of 60-65% capacity after being restarted tomorrow evening, which he described as an optimistic estimate.

The ethylene output loss was pegged at around 15,000 tonnes, the official estimated, adding that YNCC had to cut term cargoes until April.

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By: Helen Lee
+65 6780 4359



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