Saudi’s Petro Rabigh resumes production at PO facility

23 August 2011 04:04  [Source: ICIS news]

Petro RabighSINGAPORE (ICIS)--Saudi Arabia's Petro Rabigh restarted its propylene oxide (PO) plant over the weekend following a turnaround that lasted almost four months, market sources said on Tuesday.

The 200,000 tonne/year PO facility, located at Rabigh in Saudi Arabia, was taken off line on 21 April, along with the company’s other petrochemical facilities at the site. 

The company had targeted to restart the PO plant on 3 July, but the shutdown was prolonged because of mechanical issues, industry sources said.

Petro Rabigh officials declined to comment on plant operations.

Tight availability of PO imports sent spot prices in Asia surging by about $200/tonne (€140/tonne) over the past four weeks to $2,030-2,090/tonne CFR (cost and freight) China on 19 August, according to ICIS.

"Any PO cargoes that Petro Rabigh can dispatch to China immediately will likely only arrive around late September or even October,” said a Shanghai-based trader in Mandarin.

Prices may soften in the coming weeks when regional supplies normalise, he said.

The Rabigh petrochemical complex includes a 400,000 bbl/day refinery and high olefins fluid catalytic cracker (HOFCC) that produce 1.3m tonnes/year of ethylene and 900,000 tonnes/year of propylene.

The HOFCC resumed production on 31 July.

Petro Rabigh is a 50:50 joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Japan's Sumitomo Chemical.

($1 = €0.70)

Additional reporting by Vikki Shen in Shanghai

Please visit the complete ICIS plants and projects database

By: Chan Jingyi
+65 6780 4359

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