25 September 2012 09:51 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Samsung Petrochemical Corp (SPC) will keep reduced production at its Ulsan purified terephthalic acid (PTA) facilities in October because of poor margins, a company source said on Tuesday.
The company has four PTA units with a combined capacity of 2m tonnes/year at the site.
“The overall production cutbacks in October will be around 10-15%,” the source said, adding that the combined run rates at the four PTA units will effectively be at 85-90%.
Towards this end, Samsung Petrochemical plans a nine-day maintenance at its 400,000 tonne/year No 1 PTA plant from 11 October, and a 10-day shutdown at its 450,000 tonne/year No 3 unit at the site from 13 October, the source said.
During the shutdown of the No 1 and No 3 plants, operating rates at the two other PTA plants – a 450,000 tonne/year No 2 unit and a 700,000 tonne/year No 4 plant – will be ramped up to 100%, the source said.
The PTA facilities operated at 85-90% of capacity in August, and at a higher rate of 90% capacity in September because of strong demand from ?xml:namespace>
Samsung Petrochemical is trying to minimise losses by keeping production low given high prices of feedstock paraxylene (PX).
PX prices in Asia were discussed at $1,480-1,485/tonne (€1,140-1,143/tonne) CFR (cost & freight)
A tonne of PTA requires 660kg of feedstock PX. This means that PTA makers are incurring a loss of $61/tonne, based on a PX-PTA conversion cost of $150/tonne.
($1 = €0.77)
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