Cepsa hopes phenol, acetone Shanghai plant will boost petchems

14 March 2014 13:50 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Spain-based Cepsa said on Friday it expects its petrochemicals division to boost sales in Asian markets once its phenol and acetone plant in Shanghai, China, starts deliveries by the end of 2014.   

Most of Cepsa’s capital expenditures (capex) at the petrochemical division, which stood at €184m, were allocated to the construction of the Shanghai facility, the company said. 

The new plant will have capacity of 250,000 tonnes/year of phenol and 150,000 tonnes/year of acetone, according to the company.

Cepsa reported on Friday net income at its petrochemical division of €111m in 2013, on a clean current cost of supplies (CCS) basis which calculates inventory valuation at replacement cost and excludes special items. This is a 3.5% decrease from 2012, despite a 9% increase in sales and lower costs in purified terephthalic acid (PTA), purified isophthalic acid (PIA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

The increase in sales in those products helped the company offset lower margins at its linear alkylbenzene (LAB) and solvents segments, it added. LAB is used as a raw material for biodegradable detergents, while PTA, PIA and PET are used for synthetic fibres.

However, the picture for Cepsa’s general results was less rosey. CCS net income in 2013 declined 33% to €370.7m on the back of poor Spanish demand for motor fuels, new energy price regulations and a fall in refining margins, the company said.

CEPSA started building the phenol/acetone plant in Shanghai in October 2011.

By Jonathan Lopez