Japan's May ethylene production in May rose 10% from April to 553,000 tons as steam cracker operations disrupted by the March 11 earthquake continued to return to normal, data released Thursday by the Japan Petrochemical Industry Association showed.
As per Platts, On May 20, Japan's Mitsubishi Chemical restarted its No. 2 naphtha-fed steam cracker at Kashima. The cracker, with capacity to produce 476,000 tpa of ethylene and 260,000 tpa of propylene, was shut on March 11 after the petrochemical complex at Kashima was hit by the earthquake and tsunami. With this restart, all steam crackers shut after the quake in eastern Japan have been restarted.
However, market sources said Japan's ethylene production would likely fall again amid annual turnaround season. Mitsubishi Chemical shut its steam cracker at Mizushima in western Japan from May 16 to June 29 for maintenance. The cracker is able to produce 495,000 tpa of ethylene and 320,000 tpa of propylene. Mitsui Chemicals also plans to shut its steam cracker at Chiba from July 1 to July 27.