UpdateAl-Jubail PE, PP plants resume production after power outage

20 January 2012 17:42  [Source: ICIS news]

(releads and updates throughout)

By Cuckoo James and Ong Sheau Ling

Al-Jubail PE, PP plants resume productionLONDON (ICIS)--Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) plants at Al-Jubail in Saudi Arabia were able to restart production on Friday after an earlier power outage which forced several to shut down, sources said.

SABIC was able to restart the majority of its plants at the Al-Jubail industrial park on Friday morning, while LyondellBasell resumed its February offers for PE and PP in southeast Asia, India, China, the Middle East and Africa following the restart of most of its joint venture polymer units, according to sources.

Production losses at SABIC’s plants are a “lot less than expected”, a source close to the company said, but the impact of the losses on February allocations have yet to be fully assessed.

“There will be most likely some volume cuts but nothing major. The company will be confirming that, hopefully by tomorrow or [the] day after,” the source added.

Offers from the producer – to be announced next week – would be higher for February.

“The offers will be impacted – it’s not only SABIC but there are other suppliers [at the Al-Jubail site],” the source said. “The market is already expecting an increase. This will just add to the sentiment.”

LyondellBasell withdrew all February PE and PP offers shortly after its units were shut on Thursday evening but was able to resume these after restarts earlier on Friday.

Saudi Ethylene and Polyethylene Co (SEPC), a joint venture between National Industrialisation Co (TASNEE), Sahara Olefins and LyondellBasell, has restarted its 400,000 tonne/year high density PE (HDPE) and low density PE (LDPE) plants, a source close to LyondellBasell said.

Saudi Polyolefins Co (SPC), a second joint venture between TASNEE and LyondellBasell, has likewise restarted its 700,000-750,000 tonnes/year PP, the source added.

Another source said, however, that SPC’s restart had only been partially successful and it had later been forced to shut down again.

The 450,000 tonne/year PP facility at LyondellBasell’s third joint venture with Sahara Petrochemical Co – Al Waha Petrochemical - remains shut.

The plants were shut down following a power outage on Thursday evening at the industrial park, which some industry sources said was caused by a power generator fire.

Official sources have yet to confirm the cause and extent of the power outage.

Al-Jubail is Saudi Arabia’s biggest polymer production site and accounts for an estimated 65% of the country’s PE output and 72% of PP output.

PE and PP producers based there could see a 10% decline in first-quarter revenue compared to the fourth because of the power outage, a Dubai-based equity analyst said earlier on Friday, when it had been expecting the shutdown to last for up to seven days.

SABIC markets PP, PE from the following plants:

Company

Product

Nameplate capacity (kt/year)

Arabian Petrochemical Co (Petrokemya)

HDPE

400

LLDPE

400

Eastern Petrochemical (SHARQ)

HDPE

400

400

LLDPE

400

350

Al-Jubail Petrochemical Co (Kemya)

LLDPE

850

LDPE

220

Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co

HDPE

400

PP

350

Ibn Zahr (Saudi European Petrochemical Co)

PP

320

PP

320

PP

500

Chow Bee Lin contributed to this article

For more on PE and PP, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
Please visit the complete
ICIS plants and projects database
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog –
Asian Chemical Connections


By: Cuckoo James
+44 (0) 208 652 3214



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