Petrotahlil - Chinese private-sector firms Oriental Energy and Zhejiang Satellite have shut down their propane dehydrogenation (PDH) units earlier than planned for maintenance owing to the coronavirus outbreak. Oriental took its 600,000 t/yr Zhangjiagang PDH and 400,000 t/yr polypropylene units in east China off line in early March, with works due to take around one month. At the same time, Zhejiang Satellite shut its 450,000 t/yr Jiaxing 1 PDH unit in east China for around 15 days of maintenance. The shutdowns were brought forward from late March because of the coronavirus and high inventories. This should boost PDH margins as propane prices are likely to fall in April with returning US imports to China. The two firms have obtained waivers from Beijing on the 25pc tariff on US propane. China's PDH rates fell to 63pc in early March from 76pc two weeks earlier.
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