MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asahi Kasei Mitsubishi Chemical Ethylene, a joint venture of Asahi Kasei Corp and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp, said it will restart operation at its naphtha cracker in Mizushima, Okayama prefecture on 24 January, after completing planned repair of the unit’s troubled refrigeration system, reported Kemicalinfo.
The naphtha cracker automatically shut down on 14 January after it detected a malfunction in the refrigeration system. Inspection remains underway and the venture plans to complete repairs by 24 January.
The unit’s closure has also forced some derivatives units to halt operations at the Mizushima plant. The venture is planning to gradually restart those closed derivatives units after restarting the naphtha cracker.
Japanese petrochemical firms Asahi Kasei and Mitsubishi Chemical launched the joint venture in April 2016 to operate the naphtha cracker, after integrating their operations in Mizushima.
The naphtha cracker has a production capacity of 567,000 tonnes a year without any turnaround and 496,000 tonnes with turnaround, the firm said.The venture continues to assess the impact from the closure of the naphtha cracker, while maintaining regular shipments.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,904,410 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2019, up by 6% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. PE shipments increased from both domestic producers and foreign suppliers. The PP consumption in the Russian market was 1,161,830 tonnes in January-November 2019, up by 7% year on year. Deliveries of all grades of propylene polymers increased, with the homopolymer PP segment accounting for the largest increase.