S Korea’s GS Caltex runs FCC at 60%, eyes maintenance in April

21 March 2013 03:42  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s second largest refiner GS Caltex is running its vacuum gas oil (VGO) fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit in Yeosu at around 60% capacity after the unit was started up as planned on 14 March, a company source said on Thursday.

The FCC unit can produce around 250,000 tonnes/year of propylene.

The source said the company planned to take the FCC off line for around nine days of maintenance in early April to resolve some technical  issues.

“We are likely to reduce or delay some term shipments for March and April,” he said, without providing further details.

Market players were closely watching the start-up of the new FCC unit, as the bulk of the propylene output was expected to be exported on a term or spot basis.

Selling ideas on an FOB Korea basis were raised to above $1,300/tonne (€1,001/tonne) following news that the new plant was not operating at rates as high as expected. However, buying ideas from some traders were capped at around $1,250/tonne FOB Korea as buying appetite had not picked up in the leading China market.

GS Caltex also operates a residual FCC (RFCC) unit, which can produce around 220,000 tonnes/year of propylene, at the same site.

The bulk of the residual FCC unit’s propylene supply is fed to a derivative 180,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Peh Soo Hwee
+65 6780 4359

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