Japan's Sumitomo to shut Chiba cracker in or before Sept '15

01 February 2013 07:27  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Sumitomo Chemical will permanently shut its 415,000 tonne/year cracker at Chiba Works in Ichihara, Japan, in or before September 2015 amid the continuing fall in domestic demand and an increase in imports, the Japanese firm said on Friday.

The closure will take place during the “next periodic shutdown maintenance” and is aimed at reinforcing the competitiveness of the firm’s petrochemical operations at Chiba Works, it said in a statement.

“A decrease in domestic demand is growing conspicuous for some of general-purpose ethylene derivatives over the past years,” it said.

“Sumitomo Chemical believes that its domestic petrochemical business can only be enhanced and stay sustainable by further curtailing costs and augmenting lines of higher value-added products,” the company said.

Following the closure of the cracker, the company will procure its supply of ethylene and other basic petrochemical feedstock from Keiyo Ethylene, a joint venture between Maruzen Petrochemical, Mitsui Chemicals and Sumitomo Chemical.

“Going forward, Sumitomo Chemical will continue to look into ways to optimize production facilities at the Chiba Works for some of the ethylene derivatives, including possibilities of plant closure,” it added.

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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