29 March 2013 08:45 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Saudi Arabia's Petro Rabigh will attempt to restart its propylene oxide (PO) facility by end-March this year, market sources said on Friday.
The 200,000 tonne/year facility was taken offline in December last year because of unspecified mechanical issues.
Once the facility restarts commercial production, the first shipment of PO will likely reach Asia around mid-May as cargoes from the Middle East typically take around six weeks to be delivered, according to sources.
Smooth operations at the facility, located at Rabigh in Saudi Arabia, will mean that spot availability to the key consuming market in China can resume to normal leves more quickly, alleviating existing supply tightness, market sources said.
The facility’s unexpected outage in December contributed to PO supply tightness in the key consuming market in China which needs at least 30,000 tonnes of PO per month to make up for the domestic supply shortfall.
Company officials have declined to comment on the plant’s production status.
According to Chinese customs statistics in 2012, Petro Rabigh, one of the top three PO suppliers to China, controls up to 30% of the import market, together with companies such as Dow Chemical in Thailand and Shell Chemical in Singapore.
PetroRabigh is a 50:50 joint venture between state-owned Saudi Aramco and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical.
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