12 August 2011 05:24 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Iran’s state-owned oil and petrochemical major, National Petrochemical Co (NPC), is running Borzouyeh Petrochemicals’ benzene plant at 75% of capacity following utility-related problems a few days ago, a source close to the company said late on Thursday.
The 430,000 tonne/year plant is located at Assaluyeh.
The unit faced “utility” problems over the last four to five days, forcing the company to reduce the operating rate from nearly 95% to about 75%, the source said.
Consequently, the supply of benzene to Pars Petrochemicals’ 600,000 tonne/year downstream styrene monomer (SM) plant, also located at Assaluyeh, is being made by utilising the existing inventory, the source added.
However, there are concerns production at the SM plant might suffer if the feedstock benzene supply is disrupted, the source said.
It is not known when Borzouyeh will resume normal production at the benzene plant, he added.
Before this, the benzene plant was taken off line for about a day around early last week because of technical problems, the source added.
A 230,000 tonne/year benzene unit at Bandar Imam, which is owned by NPC’s subsidiary Bandar Imam Petrochemical Co (BIPC), is not producing any aromatics as reformate has been diverted for gasoline blending for almost the last three months.
Iran was forced to reduce production at aromatics plants sporadically and divert reformate for gasoline production since August-September 2010, following the implementation of US-related sanctions on importing gasoline.
However, another 180,000 tonne/year benzene unit at Bandar Imam, which is owned by NPC’s subsidiary Buali Sina Petrochemical, is running normally, the source added.
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