Japan's Maruzen Petrochemical Co has restarted its 480,000 tpa naphtha cracker in Chiba, nearly three weeks after it was shut down. As per Reuters, the restart means only two crackers remain shut due to the quake. They are operated by Mitsubishi Chemical Corp at its Kashima plant, northeast of Tokyo, and have a total capacity of 828,000 tpa. Mitsubishi Chemical, a unit of Mitsubishi Chemical Holding has said that the restart of the crackers would take at least two months. JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp, an oil refining unit of JX Holdings , was also forced to shut a 404,000 tpa cracker in Kawasaki after the quake, but it resumed operations on March 29.
Japan has a combined ethylene making capacity of 7.3 mln tpa, and nearly 17% of that capacity is currently off line due to the closure of the Kashima plants and a maintenance shutdown of Idemitsu Kosan Co's 374,000 tpa cracker at Chiba.