US cracker start-ups to add 60,000 bbl/day of NGL demand – source

09 May 2012 22:49  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS)--US cracker start-ups and one cracker conversion will add 60,000 bbl/day of incremental ethane and propane demand late in the second quarter, a source at a major US natural gas liquids producer said on Wednesday.

“The 60,000 bbl/day figure represents several plants that will start up, as well as BASF FINA’s conversion at its Port Arthur facility,” the source said.

In December 2011, an official at BASF FINA Petrochemicals, a joint venture between Germany-based BASF and France-based Total, said that it planned to increase the flexibility of its Port Arthur, Texas, naphtha cracker to use lighter feeds in a project starting April and lasting 50 days.

The site consists of nine furnaces that can produce up to 2bn lb/year (907,000 tonnes/year) of ethylene and 1.8bn lb/year of propylene, a BASF spokesperson said.

“Production will be dependent on actual feedstocks used at the time,” the spokesperson said.

“However, nameplate capacity is unaffected by feedstock changes and will be the same after the turnaround is completed,” the spokesperson added.

The purpose of the turnaround, which started on 2 April and is expected to be completed by June, is to “carry out regular inspections, maintain equipment and perform cleaning work on vessels”, the spokesperson said.

“Performance improvement and reliability of the units is an intended benefit of the maintenance activity completed during the turnaround,” the spokesperson added.

By: Joseph Chang
+1 713 525 2653

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