UpdateS Korea's GS Caltex Yeosu naphtha splitter shut on tech issue

20 April 2012 05:00  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds comments from GS Caltex official, and details throughout)

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--GS Caltex, South Korea’s second largest refiner, has experienced a technical issue and had to shut its full-range naphtha splitter in Yeosu, market sources said on Friday.

The company had discovered the mechanical issue in the middle of this week but could not say the exact date when the splitter was taken off line, they said.

The 90,000 bbl/day splitter in Yeosu could be shut for up to two weeks, market sources said.

A GS Caltex official contacted by ICIS declined to provide details on what caused the outage at the splitter.

“The impact on GS Caltex petrochemical plants in Yeosu will be minimal as the company has a crude distillation unit that can still supply feedstock to our aromatics plant, the official said.

“But this outage will have some impact on other cracker operators in the region. It is, however, hard to estimate the total impact, since we are not able to accurately estimate the naphtha loss from this outage,” said the official.

GS Caltex’s unit splits full-range naphtha into light and heavy grades. Heavy naphtha is supplied to the company’s own aromatics plants in Yeosu, while light naphtha is supplied to other cracker operators, such as Honam Petrochemical, LG Chem, and Yeochun NCC in the region.

GS Caltex operates three paraxylene (PX) plants in Yeosu. Two of its PX plants can produce 400,000 tonne/year of PX, while its third PX plant can produce 550,000 tonne/year of PX.

Honam Petrochemical and LG Chem have a 1m tonne/year cracker each in Yeosu, while YNCC operates a 857,000 tonne/year No1 cracker, a 578,000 tonne/year No 2 naphtha cracker and a 465,000 tonne/year No 3 cracker at the same complex.

By: Quintella Koh
+65 6780 4372

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