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Taiwan CPC to restart No. 4 naphtha cracker as market demand improves

CPC Corp., Taiwan’s state-owned oil refiner, plans to restart its No. 4 naphtha-processing plant in Kaohsiung next month after market demand for ethylene improves, a company official said.

The naphtha cracker, shut on Oct. 11 for scheduled repairs, will resume production on Feb. 2 or Feb. 3, said a CPC official, who kept anonymity because of company policy.

The cracker processes naphtha into ethylene, a material used to make plastics and fabrics. Ethylene prices in South Korea and Japan have risen 11 percent this year, according to data.

CPC operates three such processing plants with a combined annual ethylene output capacity of 1.08 million metric tons. The No. 1 and No. 2 crackers are no longer in operation.

The total production amount of ethylene in the fourth quarter of 2008 dropped to 50%, said the CPC.

The refiner had planned to restart the 350,000 ton-a-year No. 4 plant in late November and extended the suspension because of weak market demand. CPC has been operating the No. 3 and No. 5 crackers at about 80 percent of capacity, the official said.

The resumption and suspension of a naphtha cracker should be planned ahead of time for smooth production process, said the company representative. The losses will be enormous once the plant falls short of raw materials. A plant should be operated continuously for at least two years followed by its resumption.


Updated : 2021-07-25 16:47 GMT+08:00