MOSCOW (MRC) -- Korea Petrochemical Industry Co (KPIC) plans to cut capacity utilisation at its naphtha cracker in Onsan, South Korea by, at least, 15% by late January, 2022, due to negative profit margins, according to CommoPlast.
The cracker with the production capacity of 800,000 mt/year of ethylene and 410,000 mt/year of propylene will be operating at the reduced rates throughout February.
As MRC informed previously, in June 2017, KPIC finilized the expansion of its ethylene production capacity. Thus, KPIC started commercial operation at its Ulsan-based Naphtha Cracking Center (NCC) from Jun 23, 2017. Earlier, KPIC produced about 470,000 mt/year of ethylene from its Ulsan-based NCC. With the expansion, the company added 330,000 mt/year of ethylene, and its combined ethylene capacity reached 800,000 mt/year.
Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,265,290 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2021, up by 14% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,363,850 tonnes in January-November, 2021, up by 25% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.
KPIC is one of the key producers of ethylene in South Korea. The company's ethylene capacity accounted for about 6% of total ethylene production in South Korea before the expansion was completed, and now the company's market share will be increased to nearly 10%.