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Mitsui Phenols expects to raise Singapore solvents plant run rate to 100% by Nov 1

2016/10/26

Mitsui Phenols Singapore or MPS expects to raise the operating rate of its solvents plant to 100% of capacity by November 1, a source close to the company said Tuesday. 

This was based on expectations that Shell Chemicals, the company's supplier of feedstock propylene, would restart its cracker at Pulau Bukom "at the end of October," the source said. 

MPS delayed or canceled some of its October phenol shipments after reducing its operating rate by 30-40% on October 1 following the shutdown of Shell Chemicals' cracker on September 27. 

Shell Chemicals issued a force majeure on base chemicals from its Pulau Bukom complex on September 29, two days after the steam cracker was shut. 

A Shell spokesperson Monday said the company had nothing new to add to its previous statement that the "ethylene cracker complex at Pulau Bukom is currently shut down for unplanned maintenance [and] supply teams are working hard to minimize the impact from this disruption." 

No restart date for the complex has been given. Shell Chemicals' petrochemical complex comprises a steam cracker that is able to produce 960,000 mt/year of ethylene, 540,000 mt/year of propylene and 186,000 mt/year of butadiene. 

The site also has a 276,000 mt/year benzene unit and a 750,000 mt/year monoethylene glycol plant. MPS' plant can produce 310,000 mt/year of phenol and 180,000 mt/year of acetone.

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