Refinery outage pushes US Sunoco into $9m first-quarter chem loss

05 May 2011 22:15  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Sunoco reported a first-quarter pre-tax loss of $9m (€6m) from continuing chemical operations because of a refinery outage, the US refiner and chemical producer said on Thursday.

Sunoco said the unplanned refinery downtime at its Philadelphia refinery limited supply of cumene to its nearby phenol facility, thus raising feedstock costs and reducing production.

The loss for the three months ended 31 March compares with net income from continuing chemical operations of $5m in the 2010 first quarter.

Overall, Sunoco reported a first-quarter net loss of $101m, compared with a net loss of $63m in the 2010 first quarter, because of sharply higher crude oil prices and refinery outages.

"The sharp rise in crude oil prices created very challenging market conditions in the first quarter which, along with some significant operational reliability issues at two of our refineries, negatively impacted earnings,” CEO Lynn Elsenhans said.

“We have been aggressively focused on addressing the reliability issues," she added.

The company also noted that in the 2010 first-quarter, net results included $33m in pre-tax income from a polypropylene business that was divested on 31 March 2010 to Brazil's petrochemicals major Braskem.

($1 = €0.67)

For more on Sunoco and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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