Malaysia’s PETRONAS Chemicals restarts Kerteh PE plant

16 June 2014 10:24 Source:ICIS News

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Malaysia’s PETRONAS Chemicals Group (PCG) has resumed production at its 240,000 tonne/year polyethylene (PE) plant in Kerteh after completing a scheduled maintenance at the unit, a company source said on Monday.

The plant was taken off line on 10 April and was restarted early this month, the source said. The company has yet to resume offering spot PE cargoes, the company source said, adding that this could be done in the coming weeks.

The plant has two 120,000 tonne/year trains.

Prior to the shutdown, one train was producing  linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) film grade, LLDPE rotational (roto) moulding grade and high density polyethylene (HDPE) injection grade

Upon restart, the plant will focus more on producing LLDPE roto moulding and HDPE injection grades at the first train, while the second train will continue producing HDPE film, HDPE blow moulding and HDPE pipe grades.

Some market participants said that producing LLDPE film grade has not been very profitable for PCG.

“This could be the reason why they are ramping up production of LLDPE roto moulding and HDPE injection instead. LLDPE roto moulding for instance has very few producers in the region, so they could capitalise on that,” a trader said.

The PCG company source, however, said that if the company finds “a good reason” to resume production of LLDPE film, the plant can simply switch back to the grade.

By Arianne Perez