Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan restarts Tokuyama cracker as planned

24 October 2012 07:52  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan has restarted operations at its 623,000 tonne/year naphtha cracker in Tokuyama as planned this week following a turnaround, a company source said on Wednesday.

The cracker was taken off line on 10 September for maintenance. “We started up Tokuyama cracker this week and it is not exactly running at full rates yet, but it is running as we planned,” he said.

Idemitsu Kosan's other naphtha cracker in Chiba with a 374,000 tonne/year capacity is running at 100% of capacity.

The company would like to run the Tokuyama cracker at full rates in November, but it depends on co-product propylene, of which there is a huge supply surplus in Japan, the source said.

Cracker operators must hence reduce operating rates, which may result in ethylene prices staying above propylene prices, he added.

Propylene spot prices gained $20-50/tonne (€15-39/tonne) to $1,340-1,360/tonne CFR (cost & freight) northeast (NE) Asia during the week ended 19 October in line with price hikes in downstream product prices, while ethylene spot prices rose by $20-30/tonne to $1,330-1,380/tonne CFR NE Asia during the same period on supply concerns, according to ICIS data.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Helen Lee

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