News Code : 44107

Petrotahlil - South Korea’s LG Chem is running its two naphtha crackers at full capacity amid an oil price plunge and shutdowns of petrochemical plants in Asia, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

The petrochemical maker had lowered its crackers’ run rates to 95% in early March for less than a week, weighed down by weak demand from China in the midst of a spreading coronavirus, the spokesman said.

The increase comes as market conditions improved slightly on the back of falling oil prices and a halt in petrochemical operations at South Korea’s Lotte Chemical and Petronas-Aramco’s oil refining and petrochemical complex in Malaysia in March.

Naphtha is derived from refining crude oil. Asia’s naphtha crack, or profit margins from making naphtha, touched a two-session high of $40.25 a tonne on Tuesday, rebounding from a six-month low in the previous session, as more buyers came forward.

LG Chem, South Korea’s top petrochemical maker by capacity, operates two naphtha crackers, with a total ethylene output capacity of 2.5 million tonnes each year.

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