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Refinery in Pakistan to close in a week unless demand rises

April 07/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Pakistanís Attock Refinery is operating its 54,000 barrels per day (bpd) plant at 29% capacity and is prepared to shut the complex in a weekís time if local demand does not recover, reported Reuters with reference to the companyís top official.

If it closes, it would be the third Pakistani refinery to halt operations because of the collapse in demand as the country implements a lockdown to try to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"The main plant is shut down. Only two small units are running and these will be closed in the next few days if the situation persists," Adil Khattak, chief executive officer at Attock Refinery, told Reuters from the garrison city of Rawalpindi, where the refinery is located.

Pakistanís energy ministry last week asked fuel retailers and refiners to cancel the import of products and crude from April. The government also asked the oil marketing companies that supply fuel stations to increase purchases from national refiners to try to ensure operations continue.

But on Saturday, Pakistanís largest refiner Byco Petroleum Pakistan Ltd halted crude processing at its 155,000 bpd refinery because of "zero demand for products in the aftermath of COVID-19 lockdowns," Shahryar Ahmad, its head of communications, said.

Byco, located on the outskirts of Pakistanís largest city, Karachi, has put the refinery on cold circulation, which means crude is passed through the machinery without producing any refined products as fired heaters are shut.

The process would help in quick restart of refinery in case demand recovers, Byco said in a statement.

Similarly, Pakistanís National Refinery Ltd stopped crude processing at its 64,000 bpd plant from last Wednesday.

As MRC informed before, North Atlantic Refining Ltdís Come-by-Chance refinery in Canada will be the first to close in North America due to the coronavirus pandemic as refineries worldwide cut back operations.

We also remind that US-based Phillips 66 is delaying three sizeable scheduled shutdowns at its refineries this year, the company said last week, because of concerns that coronavirus could spread among the refineries' workers if the maintenance goes ahead.

Besides, Phillips 66 remains open to developing another ethane cracker for its Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem) joint venture, the refiner's CEO said in March 2018.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 383,760 tonnes in the first two month of 2020, up by 14% year on year. High density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments increased due to the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 192,760 tonnes in January-February 2020, down by 6% year on year. Homopolymer PP accounted for the main decrease in imports.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, LLDPE, crude and gaz condensate, homopolymer PP, propylene, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, Phillips 66, Canada, Pakistan, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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