Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical plans to operate its three naphtha-fed steam crackers at Mailiao at about 80% of their capacities in December and January, as per Platts. The runs were reduced to 80% from 100% at the end of October due to poor downstream derivative demand and production margins.
FPC's No. 1 cracker has capacity to produce 700,000 tpa of ethylene, 350,000 tpa of propylene and 109,000 tpa of butadiene. Its No. 2 cracker 1.03 mln tpa of ethylene, 515,000 tpa of propylene and 162,000 tpa of butadiene. Its No. 3 cracker 1.2 mln tpa of ethylene, 600,000 mln tpa of propylene and 176,000 mln tpa of butadiene.
Naphtha-fed steam crackers typically need ethylene prices to be 1.4 times the price of naphtha to break even. Naphtha prices were assessed Tuesday at US$862/mt CFR Japan, requiring ethylene prices to be more than US$1207/mt. But ethylene prices were assessed at US $1025/mt CFR Northeast Asia Tuesday.