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Three South Korean petrochemical makers shut down some of their naphtha crackers

March 31/2011

(Reuters) -- Three South Korean petrochemical makers said on Tuesday that they will shut down some of their naphtha crackers for maintenance in April, meaning all five local players will proceed with scheduled shutdowns next month. Heavy cracker maintenance schedules through May have been weighing on Asian naphtha markets, which are also facing pressure from the loss of Japanese naphtha demand after the country's worst quake on record on March 11, according to traders.


Samsung Total Co Ltd will close its 850 KTa naphtha cracker for about a month from late April. Honam Petrochemical Corp will shut down a 750 KTa naphtha cracker for 10 days from April 1, their officials said.


Korea Petrochemical Ind Co Ltd (KPIC) will close its 460 KTa cracker from April 3-30, the officials said, adding that Honam would close another 1 million-tpy cracker for 30 days in October.


On March 17, rival LG Chem Ltd started a 30-day maintenance shutdown of its 800 KTa naphtha cracker to raise capacity by 100 KT. YNCC will shut down its largest 857 Kta naphtha cracker from April 5 as planned.


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