Petrotahlil - South Korean producer Lotte Chemical is planning to resume production at its Daesan-based cracker in the last quarter of 2020.
The 1mn t/yr cracker is due to restart between the end of October and the middle of November. The cracker has been shut since an explosion in early March that damaged the compressor. Repairs are ongoing to fix the compressor, but there have been delays because of Covid-19 restrictions.
There are difficulties in getting the technicians on time and this is prolonging the shutdown. Downstream units at the cracker continue to operate at slightly reduced rates.
Other South Korean producers have been selling ethylene to Lotte since March, to cover the feedstock shortfall for its downstream units. This was one of the factors that resulted in South Korea's ethylene exports dipping to 269,000t in the first quarter of 2020, nearly 100,000t lower from the last quarter of 2019.
Lotte operates 700,000 t/yr of ethylene glycol, 860,000 t/yr of ethylene oxide, a 320,000 t/yr swing LLDPE/HDPE and 140,000 t/yr of LDPE, among the Daesan-based derivatives units. The producer also runs a 580,000 t/yr styrene monomer unit.