Petrotahlil :The start-ups of new polymer capacities in southeast Asia are expected to be delayed from the second half of 2020 to 2021.
The delay was possibly linked to several factors. These included manpower shortages plant upgrading, concerns over poor production economics on rising supply in China, a weak economy during the prolonged Covid-19 lockdowns and lower demand for plastic resins.
The Philippines' JG Summit is expected to increase its polypropylene (PP) production from 190,000 t/yr to 300,000 t/yr from December 2020, a slight delay from its previous target of the third quarter of 2020.
The PP unit underwent a debottlenecking exercise in late 2019, at the same time its upstream cracker was shut for maintenance and expansion.
JG Summit has also postponed the commercial operation of its new 250,000 t/yr high-density polyethylene (HDPE) unit from late 2020 to third quarter of 2021.
South Korean textile manufacturer Hyosung started its 300,000 t/yr PP unit in the first quarter of this year, using outsourced propylene.
It plans to start another 300,000 t/yr PP unit in 2021, but the exact timeline was unclear. Its 600,000 t/yr upstream propane dehydrogenation unit is expected to start in 2022.
Malaysia's Pengerang Refining and Petrochemicals (PRefChem) is expected to defer the start-up of its polymers units from the fourth quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021.
PRefChem owns a 350,000 t/yr linear low-density (LLDPE)/HDPE swing unit, a 400,000 t/yr HDPE unit and two 450,000 t/yr PP units.
Its new polymer facilities started in phases in late 2019 but were taken off line by April this year after an explosion occurred at its 300,000 b/d refinery on 15 March.
PRefChem is a 50:50 joint-venture between Saudi Aramco and Malaysia's state-owned Petronas.
Argus assessed duty-free LLDPE film and PP raffia prices at $860-880/t and $940-960/t cfr southeast Asia, respectively, on 27 August.
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Source : ICIS