Shell Chemicals plans to extend the August shutdown of its naphtha-fed steam cracker at Pulau Bukom, Singapore, to 40-45 days from around 30 days, as per Platts. The steam cracker, with capacity to produce 800,000 tpa of ethylene and 450,000 tpa of propylene, is scheduled to shut around August 11. The cracker also supports a 155,000 tpa butadiene unit.
The steam cracker is relatively new and was first brought on stream in March last year. After the startup, the cracker had been experiencing some technical problems, which caused several shutdowns in late 2010. In 2011, the cracker was shut down on February 21 for annual maintenance. The cracker was restarted on March 10, but it was immediately shut down again on March 18 due to unidentified problems. The cracker was restarted again around mid-May.