China’s Maoming Petchem to shut No 2 cracker, two derivative units

26 April 2011 07:30  [Source: ICIS news]

SHANGHAI (ICIS)--China’s Maoming Petrochemical plans to shut its 620,000 tonne/year No 2 cracker and two derivative plants at Maoming, Guangdong province, on 26 May for a 15-day turnaround, a source close to the company said on Tuesday.

The derivative plants that will be shut include a 350,000 tonne/year high-density polyethylene (HDPE) unit and a 300,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant, said the source.

However, the source could not confirm how long the two units will be taken off line.

The shutdowns are in line with parent company Sinopec’s plan to cut ethylene and polyethylene (PE) production in May because of squeezed margins, the source said.

Maoming will lose 10,000 tonnes of HDPE and 4,000 tonnes of PP in May as a result of the shutdown, he said.

Meanwhile, production at Maoming’s 220,000 tonne/year linear low-density PE (LLDPE) plant at the same site will continue in May, but at a reduced 70% rate, he said, adding that the loss of output is estimated at 5,000 tonnes.

The producer will continue to run its two low-density PE (LDPE) plants at the same site at 100% capacity as it is enjoying positive margins for this product, he added.

The two LDPE plants have a combined capacity of 370,000 tonnes/year, according to the source.

Maoming’s other facilities at the same site, including its 380,000 tonne/year No 1 cracker and 170,000 tonne/year PP plant, are not scheduled for production cuts or maintenance, he said.

The reduced HDPE supply from Maoming is likely to boost market sentiment, as its cuts in production are more than what market players expected, and supply is relatively tight in south China, a local trader said.

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By: Amy Yan

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