S Korea’s SK Energy to keep No 1 Ulsan cracker ops lower in Sept

17 September 2012 03:51  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s SK Energy plans to maintain reduced operating rate from August at its 190,000 tonne/year No 1 cracker at Ulsan at 75% capacity for September, a company official said on Monday.

SK Energy cut the operating rate at its No 1 cracker by 10 percentage point on 5 September from August levels because of poor margins.

“We cut the operating ratio on 5 September simply because of poor economics as naphtha price is high,” the official said.

Prior to the reduction, the No 1 cracker was operated at 85% capacity since early August, up from 70% capacity in July, following an improvement in demand.

“We will maintain reduced rates for one month and we will increase the operating ratio in October,” he said.

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

Ethylene margins based on naphtha feedstock in northeast Asia dropped by $5/tonne (€3.80/tonne) from the previous week to $22/tonne during the week ended 14 September following a decline in ethylene prices as well as an increase in feedstock prices, according to ICIS data.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Helen Lee
+65 6780 4359

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