18 January 2013 03:58 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s Lotte Chem’s aromatics output in Daesan and Yeosu will reduce by 10% from February to August because of a switch in naphtha feedstock to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), a company source said on Friday.
“We change the feedstock as LPG costs cheaper now,” the source said, adding that consequently, the aromatics output will be cut accordingly.
Lotte Chem operates an aromatics unit at Daesan, with a nameplate capacity of 360,000 tonnes/year of benzene, 120,000 tonnes/year of toluene and 60,000 tonnes/year of solvent xylene.
At Yeosu, the aromatics plant has a nameplate capacity of 180,000 tonnes/year of benzene, 84,000 tonnes/year of toluene and 60,000 tonnes/year of solvent xylene, the source added.
Both aromatics facilities are running at 100% currently, and there will be no annual maintenance planned this year at these plants, he said.
Lotte Chem also owns a hydrodealkylation (HDA) unit at Daesan that is able to produce 120,000 tonnes/year of benzene.
However, this unit has been idle since 2011 because of poor economics, he said.
“We need at least $200/tonne spread between benzene and toluene to allow the HDA unit to be operational,” he added.
It remains unclear when the HDA plant will restart, the source said.
At Ulsan, the 120,000 tonne/year benzene unit is scheduled to shut for a month-long turnaround in September, he said.
Other key producers in South Korea are SK Global Corp (SKGC) and GS Caltex.
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