Malaysia’s EMSB ethane cracker to remain shut on power failure

10 November 2011 08:13  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--State-run Ethylene Malaysia Sdn Bhd (EMSB) is likely to keep its 400,000 tonne/year ethane cracker at Kerteh shut for around three weeks because of a power failure, sources close to the company said on Thursday.

The plant was shut on 1 or 2 November and it is expected to remain down for two to three weeks, according to the sources.

The 600,000 tonne/year cracker operated by Optimal Olefins at the same site is running normally, sources said.

EMSB is a joint venture between Malaysia's state-owned PETRONAS, Japan's Idemitsu Kosan and petrochemicals major BP, while Optimal Olefins is a joint venture between PETRONAS and US petrochemicals giant Dow Chemical.

EMSB was looking to secure ethylene cargoes for arrival in the middle of November, but trading was hindered by the buy-sell spread, they added.

Offers for cargoes arriving in the middle of November were heard at $1,100/tonne (€814/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) SE (southeast) Asia, but EMSB was only willing to pay around $1,000/tonne CFR SE Asia, the sources said.

“[The] market is really bad, the PE [polyethylene] futures market has dropped 5% today in China, and also the Italy crisis is unclear, crude is dropping – so sentiment is bad,” a key trader said.

“PETRONAS is down, but as of now, they are… not buying,” he added.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Helen Lee
+65 6780 4359

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