Shell Singapore’s Bukom CDU No 5 to keep cracker running -sources

12 October 2011 08:26  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Shell has achieved stable production at its largest 210,000 bbl/day crude distillation unit (CDU) No 5 at Bukom in Singapore on 11 October and is running the unit around 50% of capacity, market sources said on Wednesday.

The CDU may provide Shell’s 800,000 tonne/year mixed-feed cracker at the site with sufficient feedstock to continue running, they said.

There were initial expectations that the cracker will have to halt operations, as its supply of feedstock naphtha from Shell's 540,000 bbl/day refinery in Bukom was disrupted.

The refinery, which has three CDUs, was forced shut by a blaze at the manufacturing site on 28-29 September.

Shell restarted the biggest of the three CDUs on 9 October, while the other two remained shut, with no clear timeline when production can resume.

The company is also expected to ramp up operating rates at its long residue catalytic cracker (LRCC), which produces light distillates, including propylene, later on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the company’s 350,000 tonne/year group 1 base oils unit in Bukom sustained damage at its furnace following an emergency shutdown during the blaze that hit the site, market sources said. The base oils plant is expected to restart by the end of next week, they said.

Asked on the operating status of Shell's Bukom facilities, a company spokesperson said: "We can confirm that some operations have continued and some operations will resume at the site but we are unable to comment on operational specifics."

By: Bohan Loh
+65 6780 4359

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