S Arabia’s Petro Rabigh restarting cracker after shutdown - sources

30 January 2013 09:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Saudi Arabia's Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical (Petro Rabigh) is said to be at the point of restarting its cracker and derivatives site after shutting down the facility on 29 December because of a power outage, market sources said on Wednesday.

The producer was not immediately available for comment.

The 1.3m tonne/year ethane cracker and its derivative plants were shut down on 29 December because of the power outage, bringing to a halt all units, the producer said in a press statement at the time.

The downstream facilities that were shut down include a 600,000 tonne/year linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant, a 300,000 tonne/year high density polyethylene (HDPE) line, a 700,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) unit and a 600,000 tonne/year monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant.

Sources said they had been informed that PP start-up was imminent, and that polyethylene (PE) would follow slowly.

PE and PP availability has tightened considerably in recent weeks, as planned and unplanned shutdowns in the Middle East in particular have affected supply.

Markets where exports from the region are abundant expect new February offers to be higher than January. Demand in Turkey and Africa, for example, is not particularly strong, but supply is limited.

It is not clear whether the producer will press on with its plans to shut its LLDPE plant in January for a three-week turnaround.

By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214

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