SABIC plans to invest £35 mln over the next 12 months to make improvements to the Wilton Cracker complex to increase output of ethylene and propylene via 'Project Lift-Of."
The overhaul will start on 7 May, with some significant flaring around as the contents of a plant must be safely flared off prior to the major maintenance work and safety inspections starting. The overhaul is expected to last almost 6-7 weeks, with some more flaring expected towards the end of June when the plant is brought back on line. The last time the cracker was shutdown for an overhaul was in May/June 2002 - thus the 6 year gap will be the longest-ever length of time that the Cracker has ever gone between major overhauls. The overhaul will provide a major boost to the local and regional economies of North East England, as SABIC will also invest another £35 million on the maintenance and inspection work that will be taking place.
The Olefins Cracker complex at Wilton is three plants combined in one. The main component is the Olefins 6 Unit (known as the 'Cracker'), which produces ethylene and propylene, and the other two elements are the Butadiene Plant which manufactures rubber products and the Gasoline Treatment Unit.