09 April 2012 09:17 [Source: ICIS news]
The state-owned refining firm was forced to shut the cracker on the morning of 6 April following a pipeline leak that led to an explosion at the site.
The explosion was believed to be at a crude butadiene tank at the site, market sources said.
“If the cracker remains shut, daily propylene supply is expected to be reduced to 60% and ethylene to around 53%,” one buyer said in Mandarin.
He said there were no further details from the company and it remains unclear when the No 5 cracker will restart.
Some market sources said the cracker may be down for at least one to two weeks.
Company officials were not immediately available for comment.
Some other customers of CPC said the unplanned shutdown will not have a major impact as derivative markets such as polyethylene (PE) remained weak and they had already reduced their plant operating rates due to the recent hike in olefins prices.
“Earlier we had hoped that CPC would reduce its ethylene supplies to us so now that this (cracker outage) has happened, we are more or less balanced this month,” another buyer said.
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