Iran’s BIPC to suspend aromatics production on blending demand

16 June 2011 07:16  [Source: ICIS news]

Assaluyeh, IranSINGAPORE (ICIS)--Iran’s Bandar Imam Petrochemical Co (BIPC) will suspend its production of aromatics indefinitely as its feedstock reformate will be channelled for gasoline production, a source close to the company said late on Wednesday.

BIPC’s aromatics unit, which is owned by Iran’s National Petrochemical Co (NPC), was taken off line for maintenance one or two weeks ago and the shutdown is expected to last about a month, he added.

The unit located at Bandar Imam has a nameplate capacity to produce 230,000 tonnes/year of benzene.

However, there will be no aromatics supply from the plant after it is restarted, as feedstock reformate will be diverted for gasoline production at refineries, the source said.

This shift in production was ordered by the Iranian government and there were no dates set for when aromatics production will resume at the BIPC plant, he added.

Iran was forced to use reformate from a few of its aromatics plants in August-September 2010 to meet the country’s gasoline needs, following the imposition of sanctions by the US on importing the product.

Borzouyeh Petrochemical, which produces 430,000 tonnes/year of benzene at its plant in Assaluyeh, is operating the unit at 85% capacity, the source said.

Bou Ali Sina Petrochemical’s aromatics facility, which is also located at Bandar Imam, is running at 80-85% capacity, he added. The unit has a nameplate capacity of about 180,000 tonnes/year of benzene.

Iran diverts the majority of benzene produced from these plants for downstream styrene monomer (SM) production at Pars Petrochemical’s 600,000 tonne/year unit, which is currently running at 85-90% capacity, the source said.

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By: Mahua Chakravarty
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