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New Kuwait aromatics plant shuts on outage

Singapore, January 14, 2010

Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) has shut its newly commissioned aromatics plant on Thursday because of an outage, traders said on Thursday.

'The plant is shut, but it is expected to resume production in five days,' said one trader.

The plant, Kuwait Aromatics or KARO, had sold its second batches of light naphtha to two undisclosed buyers for February delivery at premiums in the high.

'I can't say for sure if the shutdown will affect the shipment but hopefully not,' said the same trader.

The plant, which uses at least 1.5 million tonnes of full-range naphtha as feedstock, was commissioned around November last year. It can produce up to 1.0 million tonnes of light naphtha a year and around 1.2 million tonnes of aromatics per year when at full-tilt.

Traders estimated that the plant was running at around 65 per cent capacity, and a brief shutdown will lead to a small production loss.

'The shutdown could affect one medium range of light naphtha cargo shipment,' said a second trader.

Kuwait has earlier delayed the shipments of full-range grade slated for end-December and first-half January delivery to  Asian customers after its 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) Shuaiba refinery shut on December 26 to 29 following a technical malfunction.

Asian naphtha cracks, which fell to their lowest in a week on Wednesday at $163.20 a tonne, rebounded to a 3-1/2-week high on Thursday at $173.60 a tonne.-Reuters




Tags: Kuwait Petroleum Corp | petrochemicals | naphtha | aromatics plant |

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