Korea’s SK Energy may cut No 1 Ulsan cracker run rates in Sept

24 August 2012 09:48  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s SK Energy may reduce the operating rate at its 190,000 tonne/year No 1 cracker at Ulsan to 70% capacity next month because of poor margins, a company official said on Friday.

The cracker operator has been running the No 1 cracker at 85% capacity since early August, up from 70% level in July, following an improvement in demand.

“We are not sure if we can keep 85% operating rates for September because naphtha is high so we are studying to cut maybe to 70% in September,” he said.

Ethylene margins based on naphtha feedstock in northeast Asia are at minus $21/tonne despite a $2/tonne gain during the week ended 17 August following an increase in feedstock prices, according to ICIS data.

Meanwhile, SK Energy will keep running its 690,000 tonne/year No 2 cracker at the same location at full capacity for August and September, the official added.

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By: Helen Lee
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