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S Korea's SK Energy to restart long-idled No. 1 steam cracker

November 11/2010

(Platts) -- South Korea's SK Energy plans to restart its long-idled No. 1 naphtha-fed steam cracker at Ulsan on November 20, a company source said Monday. The steam cracker is able to produce 200,000 mt/year of ethylene and 140,000 mt/year of propylene.

The cracker has been shut since November 2008 due to negative margins amid a sharp decline in petrochemical demand. Despite negative ethylene margins, SK Energy has decided to restart the No. 1 cracker as margins for other olefins -- such as propylene -- are strong.

Meanwhile, SK Energy started running its No. 2 steam cracker, also located at Ulsan, at 100% from Sunday. The cracker was restarted last Thursday after a turnaround from October 1. The No. 2 cracker is able to produce 660,000 mt/year of ethylene and 360,000 mt/year of propylene.


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