Petrochemical plant shutdowns in Japan

A list of petrochemical plant shutdowns in Japan as compiled by PlasticsNews: Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont Co. has closed its engineering resin plant and research center in Utsunomiya. Officials said the site will remain closed until damage assessments are completed. Shin-Etsu Inc. has stopped production at its PVC plant in Kamisu. “Some damages” have been found at the plant, and that electric power and water supply there have been disrupted. Officials added that it’s unclear when the plant will be able to restart production, and that the site is being affected by rolling blackouts enforced by Japanese utility companies. In Ibaraki, a polyester films plant operated by the Teijin DuPont Films Ltd. joint venture also suspended operations. Mitsubishi Chemical has closed a large petrochemicals complex in Kashima that makes ethylene, styrene, phenol and other plastics feedstocks, Nippon Oil & Energy also has closed a refinery in Sendai that makes numerous petrochemicals including plastics feedstocks propylene and benzene. A major petrochemical hub in Chiba also has been affected. A fire at a refinery operated there by Cosmo Oil has led to the temporary closing of the site, which has annual capacity of about 150 million lbs of propylene. Maruzen Petrochemicals also has closed an ethylene cracker in Chiba, and similar crackers operated by Mitsui Chemicals, Sumitomo Chemical, Keiyo Ethylene and Idemitsu Petrochemicals have reduced their operating rates by 60-80%. Producers in China, Taiwan and South Korea could benefit from quake-related outages in Japan, CMR researchers said in the report. Korean petrochemical firms in particular may be able to command higher prices for their products in the short-term because of the situation in Japan.
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