JAPAN DISASTER: Asahi Kasei runs benzene, SM units at 80-90%

28 March 2011 06:36  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s Asahi Kasei is operating its Mizushima-based benzene plant at 80% in light of the prevailing tight supply following the 11 March earthquake, a company source said on Monday.

The producer is operating its hydrodealkylation (HDA) unit, which produces 300,000 tonnes/year of benzene, at levels seen before the earthquake, he said.

Asahi Kasei is a net buyer of feedstock benzene for its styrene monomer (SM) and cyclohexane (CX) units.

As the earthquake had no impact on the company’s operations, Asahi Kasei is still planning to purchase about 40,000 tonnes/month of benzene for downstream consumption, the company source said.

The producer’s two Mizushima-based SM units, which have a combined capacity of 690,000 tonnes/year, were operating at 90%, he added.

However, benzene supply was tight in Japan at present, the source added.

Benzene supply has tightened in Japan in the wake of a slew of shutdowns due to the natural disaster and the diversion of aromatics for gasoline blending by local refiners, industry sources said.

For more on benzene and styrene monomer, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Mahua Chakravarty
+65 6780 4359

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