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Chinese polyolefins market undergoing turnaround season

  • 12/04/2016 (17:52)
The Chinese polyolefins market is going through a turnaround season in April, with many PE and PP plants across the country being taken offline for maintenance as of the beginning of this month. Currently, over 2 million tons/year of polyolefins capacity in China is offline, which is seen causing supply constraints especially in the PP market while availability levels are expected to improve as of May once the plants start to return from scheduled shutdowns.

Yangtze River Petrochemical, a subsidiary of Oriental Energy, and Dalian West Pacific Petrochemical took their PP units offline for maintenance on April 1. Yangtze River’s 400,000 tons/year PP unit in Zhang Jiagang City is expected to resume operations in the second half of April while Dalian West Pacific’s 100,000 tons/year PP unit will be restarted sometime later this week.

Shenhua (Baotou) Charcoal Chemical also shut their coal-based PP plant at Baotou City on April 1. The 300,000 tons/year unit will remain offline until May 9. Sinopec-SK (Wuhan) Petrochemical Company shut their PP plant earlier in April. The two PP lines, which have a combined capacity of 400,000 tons/year, will remain offline until mid-May.

Sinopec Zhanhai Refining & Chemical Company will conduct a maintenance shutdown at their 200,000 tons/year PP unit in late April. Restart is slated for early June. Sinopec Beijing Yanshan Company will shut their PP lines for turnaround as of May 8. The three PP lines, with a combined capacity of 470,000 tons/year, will return to production in the second half of June.

In the PE market, Sinopec-SK (Wuhan) Petrochemical Company shut their HDPE and HDPE/LLDPE units for maintenance in early April. Both units with a combined PE capacity of 600,000 tons/year were expected to remain shut for 45 days. Shanghai Petrochemical will shut their 250,000 tons/year HDPE plant for 10 days on April 15, with a slight delay from their initial shutdown date of April 7.

Yanshan Petrochemical and Zhonghan Petrochemical were also expected to conduct planned turnarounds at their PE units as of April until the May-June period. Both PE plants have a total capacity of over 1 million tons/year.

In addition to planned turnarounds, Daqing Petrochemical experienced an unexpected shutdown at their PE plant on April 6 due to a technical issue. No further updates about the current state of the plant were available by the time of the publication of this news.
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