Petrobras has delayed the start-up of its Petrochemical Complex of Rio de Janeiro (Comperj) refinery and petrochemicals project to 2016-2017, as per ICIS. The global economic downturn and lower than expected resins demand is being held responsible for the delay. Polymer demand is not as high as it was when the project was planned in 2005. Also the economic downturn led to longer than expected time taken for negotiations with partners for the downstream units. The industry is expected to recover by 2017-2018.
Petrobras now plans to start up the steam cracker at the end of 2016, with the downstream units for polyolefins, styrene and monoethylene glycol (MEG) scheduled to start up at the beginning of 2017. Petrobras is also reconsidering the capacities of the downstream units, to reflect the change in market conditions. The cracker will have a capacity of 1.07 mln tpa, but the capacities of the downstream polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), styrene and MEG units have not yet been defined. Petrobras intends to implement all the downstream projects with partners. Brazilian resins major Braskem, which is part-owned by Petrobras, will join the company in the polyolefins project. Oxiteno, owned by Brazil's Ultrapar, will join Petrobras in the MEG project.