EPCA ’11: Shell looks to source feedstock for Singapore cracker

04 October 2011 11:11  [Source: ICIS news]

BERLIN (ICIS)--Shell is looking to source feedstock to bring its Pulau Bukom cracker in Singapore back to full operating rates, the head of the energy company’s base chemicals business, Brian Davis, said on Tuesday.

Industry sources had earlier indicated that the mixed-feed cracker was running at a reduced rate of 50–60% after the Shell refinery fire on the island.

Shell was forced to shut its 500,000 bbl/day refinery following a blaze on 28 September. The fire was put out late on 29 September.

The cracker can produce 800,000 tonnes/year of ethylene and 450,000 tonnes/year of propylene.

Shell said in a statement on 2 October that it had declared force majeure on some of its customers, without providing further details. Market sources said force majeure had been declared on olefins, propylene oxide (PO), monoethylene glycol (MEG), polyols and monopropylene glycol (MPG).

Davis confirmed that the cracker was operating at reduced rates and confirmed force majeure, without confirming the details. 

“We are looking at sourcing feedstocks to get it back up to full capacity as soon as possible,” he added on the sidelines of the 45th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting.

The cracker and downstream units were not damaged by the blaze.

The plant is designed to crack naphtha, heavy liquids and gases and its flexibility is seen as an advantage under current circumstances. Bringing in naphtha to feed the plant is an option, Davis said.

By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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