LONDON (CNI)--India's Reliance Industries is about to start a 15-day shutdown of its new ethylene cracker at Hazira to allow work to try to raise utilisation rates, according to an Indian petrochemical analyst Friday.
Vivek Jasuja, analyst at SS Kantilal Ishwarlal in Bombay, said that while commissioning of the 750 000 tonne/year cracker began at the beginning of the year, Reliance had been unsuccessful in raising utilisation rates much higher than 70%.
"There is not much expertise [in cracker technology] in India. There has been an inability to go beyond a certain capacity utilisation," Jasuja told CNI, adding that the cracker takes some 2.5m tonne/year of naphtha.
According to local press reports, the cracker should be able to achieve 100% utilisation by the end of July.
A spokesman at Reliance said the matter was "an internal thing" that did not require an announcement. "We are always shutting down for maintenance or for debottlenecking," he said.