24 March 2011 02:12 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japanese benzene major, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp, is expected to restart production at its Kawasaki-based steam cracker and 110,000 tonne/year benzene unit this week, following its shutdown after the 11 March earthquake, a company source said late on Wednesday.
However, the company’s 170,000 tonne/year benzene reformer unit in Sendai, which is located near the epicentre of the quake, remains shut. A third 190,000 tonne/year plant in Kashima, which includes a reformer and a toluene disproportionation (TDP) unit, was also taken off line following the quake and tsunami.
“We have no idea when the Sendai and Kashima units would be restarted,” the source added, refusing to comment further.
Meanwhile, the producer would be cutting aromatics supply from its TDP and hydro-dealkylation plants across Japan, and diverting the aromatics to gasoline blending to help ease fuel shortages in the aftermath of the quake.
Toluene and mixed xylenes are used in Japan as octane boosters for gasoline production.
JX Nippon Oil & Energy is one of the largest benzene producers in Asia and has plants also in Marifu, Mizushima, Muroran, Negishi, Oita and Chita.
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