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Royal Dutch Shell may start up its ethylene plant in Singapore after mid-May

May 16/2011

(Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) reiterated that its ethylene plant at Pulau Bukom, Singapore, may only start up after the middle of this month. The “earliest possible” restart isn’t expected before the middle of May, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. Shell shut the plant on March 18 because of technical problems, according to the notice. The company said April 11 that the facility isn’t expected to start up before mid-May.

The European refiner declared force majeure on some chemical contracts from the plant because of unplanned operational issues, according to an e-mail from the company on March 21. Force majeure is a legal clause allowing companies to miss deliveries because of circumstances beyond their control.

The Singapore cracker complex has the ability to turn naphtha, liquefied petroleum gas and heavy hydrocarbons into chemicals. It has an annual capacity to produce 800 KT of ethylene, 450 KT of propylene and 230 KT of benzene, according to the company’s website. 

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