15 March 2011 17:34 [Source: ICIS news]
By Nigel Davis
An email to the BBC on Tuesday from a resident in
Utilities are available but people are feeling nervous and there is some stockpiling. “It feels as if there are two Japans at the moment,” the correspondent, John Stephenson, said.
So, one question among so many at this particularly difficult time is: how are the two Japans coping, indeed surviving, in the face of such adversity?
The impact of the earthquake and tsunami on Friday 11 March, and now the aftershocks, can still only slowly be pieced together.
The world’s eyes are on the damaged nuclear reactors. But the Nikkei stock market index had crashed by 10% at the close on Tuesday, reflecting the sharply negative economic outlook. Oil prices plunged.
Assessing the impact of the disaster on the petrochemical industry, and on regional markets, so far is difficult to say the least, although some headway is being made.
Reports suggest that important crackers and other production units are not operating.
We know for certain that ethylene and aromatics production is hit.
Three of its PX plants, with a combined capacity of 950,000 tonnes a year, located in the devastated Miyagi prefecture, are shut down.
Five refineries have shut down in
But many plants are operating normally, and others that shut down automatically as a precaution might be expected to restart soon.
However, the damage caused by the disaster is unimaginable, as is the hardship being suffered by so many people.
Production plants have closed automatically, while chemical company offices have been closed, giving staff time to come to terms with recent events.
According to reports, all of
For some in this business, life goes on as normal, but for others the disruptions to production capability and to trade will take time to come to terms with.
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