Shell yet to restart Singapore cracker - market sources

30 March 2011 07:32  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Shell has yet to restart the operations at its 800,000 tonne/year mixed-feed cracker in Pulau Bukom, Singapore, as originally scheduled on 29 March, following a shutdown caused by operational issues, market sources said on Wednesday.

“We heard it is still shut and the unofficial word is that the restart might be next week,” a trader said.

Another trader told ICIS that the producer was trying to restart the cracker, but added that there has been no official confirmation.

The cracker was shut at 21:00 hours Singapore time (13:00 GMT) on 18 March because of a compressor issue and had been expected to remain shut for 10 days, traders said.

Shell subsequently declared force majeure (FM) on monoethylene glycol (MEG) and ethylene (C2) following the shutdown, while prompt shipments of propylene (C3) will also be affected, sources said.

Shell had recently completed a turnaround at the cracker and restarted it over the weekend of 12-13 March.

The cracker complex produces 800,000 tonnes/year of C2, 450,000 tonnes/year of C3 and 230,000 tonnes/year of benzene, according to Shell’s website.

Shell’s 750,000 tonne/year MEG plant on neighbouring Jurong Island gets its C2 feedstock via pipelines from the cracker complex.

A company official declined to give details, saying: “We do not comment on operational matters.”

A company spokesperson said earlier on Monday: “For the duration of the force majeure we have declared, our supply chain teams are working hard to resume normal operations and supply as soon as possible.”

For more on monoethylene glycol, ethylene and propylene, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
Please visit the complete ICIS plants and projects database

By: Helen Lee
+65 6780 4359

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