Japan’s Showa Denko may cut Apr propylene exports on cracker woes

27 March 2012 07:33  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s Showa Denko may have to cut April propylene exports because of the ongoing outage at its upstream 690,000 tonne/year naphtha cracker in Oita, a company source said on Tuesday.

The volume of the reduction – if exports are cut – has not been confirmed, added the source.

The company exports around three to four propylene spot cargoes each month on a term basis, and the cargo size – according to industry and company standards - is around 1,500 tonnes.

The source said it remained unclear when the cracker will resume operations. Market sources said earlier that a gas leakage at the cracker would likely prolong the shutdown, but the company source declined comment on the matter.

Showa Denko shut its cracker in early March for furnace repairs and maintenance and the plant was initially slated to resume operations by the end of the month.

The source added that the company does not need to buy propylene feedstock despite the cracker outage as its derivative joint-venture polypropylene (PP) plant in Oita is also shut.

A company source at Sun Allomer – a joint venture by Showa Denko, LyondellBasell and JX Nippon Oil & Energy – said the 226,000 tonne/year PP plant was shut on 20 March for scheduled maintenance and is expected to be restarted on 20 April.

Additional reporting by Chow Bee Lin


By: Peh Soo Hwee
+65 6780 4359

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