China Sinopec Tahe to halt bitumen output for a month from 20 Sept

16 August 2013 09:45  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s Sinopec Tahe Petrochemical will halt production of bitumen production in Xinjiang for a month from 20 September because of scheduled maintenance at its crude distillation unit (CDU) at the site, a company source said on Friday.

The CDU, which has a 3m tonne/year atmospheric distillation unit (ADU) and 400,000 tonne/year vacuum distillation unit (VDU), in northwestern China can produce 400,000 tonnes/year of bitumen, the source said.

Its daily bitumen production is currently at 800-1,000 tonnes, the source said, adding the shutdown should help reduce the company’s inventory pressure.

The refiner has been plagued by slow bitumen sales and  high  stock since late July, when bitumen demand from some highway projects weakened because of financial difficulties, an industry source said.

Bitumen demand in northwest China is expected to decline after Octobers as the weather will turn unsuitable for bitumen paving, the source said.

Sinopec Tahe Petrochemical has a crude refining capacity of 5m tonnes/year. The company has another CDU that does not yield bitumen.

By: Jessie Yang

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