MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP will undertake maintenance work at its Gelsenkirchen-Scholven refinery complex in Germany starting in mid-October, said Chemweek.
The maintenance will take place at the northern site at Scholven and is expected to last about eight weeks, focusing on meeting unit inspection requirements, according to BP. The company did not specify the number of units affected or say whether output would be impacted.
BP was planning to carry out maintenance at Scholven in April but had to postpone it, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for the delay. Flaring might occur during the maintenance period, when parts of the system are taken out of service or put back into service and the excess gas that arises needs burning in a controlled manner, according to BP.
"The aromatics units had already been suspected to be offline over the summer, but it is unclear as to whether this was a commercial decision or due to technical issues at the plant," said Eleanor Dann, principal analyst at IHS Markit. BP has relied on para-xylene (p-xylene) production from its associated unit at Geel, Belgium, instead, she added.
The northern site at Scholven has a capacity to produce 150,000 metric tons/year of p-xylene and 75,000 metric tons/year of ortho-xylene (o-xylene) from mixed xylenes extracted at the refinery. Western European p-xylene demand has declined by 143,000 metric tons and o-xylene demand has fallen by 36,000 metric tons this year to date compared with 2019 levels, Dann estimated. She adds that the lost capacity has failed to make any significant impact on the market.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PET consumption totalled 367,720 tonnes in the first six months of 2020, up by 19% year on year. Russian companies processed 62,910 tonnes in June. Russian plants reduced their PET output in January-June 2020 by 25% year on year. Overall PET chips production at four Russian plants reached 281,100 tonnes in January-June 2020.
BP operates two plants in the Horst and Scholven districts as an integrated refinery location at Gelsenkirchen. The BP complex produces a variety of refined oil and petrochemical products. Its main output by volume includes 1.05 million metric tons/year (MMt/y) of ethylene, 1.90 MMt/y of gasoline, and 4.20 MMt/y of diesel, according to BP data.