India’s Haldia Petchem halves run rates at cracker, PE, PP units

28 September 2012 04:38  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--India's Haldia Petrochemicals Limited (HPL) has halved the production output at its cracker and derivatives polyolefin units in West Bengal due to the recent surge in upstream naphtha prices, sources close to the company said late on Thursday.

The operating rates this week were approximately 50% at its 670,000 tonne/year naphtha cracker, a 370,000 tonne/year high density PE (HDPE)/linear low density PE (LLDPE) swing plant and a standalone 330,000 tonne/year HDPE facility, sources said.

“The naphtha feed is too expensive. HPL has no choice but to reduce run rates at its cracker and polymer units,” the source added.

Spot open-spec naphtha prices were on an uptrend since late June to peak at a five-month high of above $1,000/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Japan in the middle of September, an increase of 44% during the time frame, according to ICIS

The surge in naphtha prices was ‘overboard’, thus HPL will reduce dependency on imported naphtha over the next six months, as part of its measures to cut cost and working capital requirements, the source said.

It remains unclear when HPL will ramp up its crackers and polymer units, industry sources said.

Prior to the cut in operating rates, HPL was running its plants at close to 100% capacity.

Author: Ong Sheau Ling

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