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ExxonMobil plans six-week turnaround at Rotterdam aromatics unit in March

December 22/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil is planning to shut its aromatics unit in Rotterdam-Botlek, Netherlands, for six weeks of maintenance between March and April next year, according to Chemweek with reference to market sources.

This work is part of a larger turnaround program at ExxonMobil's interconnected 191,000-b/d Botlek refinery and Rotterdam aromatics plant beginning in the first quarter, OPIS reported in October.

"We don't know the exact dates yet, but they will close between March and April for six weeks," one source told OPIS Thursday.

"We will communicate to communities when appropriate," an ExxonMobil spokesperson said Friday. It is not company policy to comment on future turnarounds or maintenance, the spokesperson said.

The Rotterdam aromatics plant is one of the largest aromatics production facilities globally and produces pure aromatics such as benzene, ortho-xylene, paraxylene, and cyclohexane, according to IHS Markit data.

There are three benzene production units at the Botlek site. One has a capacity of 365,000 metric ton/year using reformate as feedstock. Another has a 300,000-metric tons/year capacity and uses pyrolysis gasoline as feedstock. The third is a 120,000-metric tons/year selective toluene disproportionation unit that produces benzene and paraxylene via the use of toluene as a feedstock.

"From a benzene-supply perspective, we believe the impact of the turnaround over the period of the outage will be the loss of more than 30,000 metric tons from the units," said Simon Cleghorn, director consultant/aromatics, EMEA at IHS Markit. "However, some of the benzene feedstocks usually processed at Botlek will find their way to other benzene extractors who will process the feedstock and return benzene to the market."

"We believe the tight supply situation seen towards the end of this year should ease by March next year, so we do not expect a big impact on the benzene market," the source added.

"The current situation for sure isn't sustainable," said a trader.

OPIS is an IHS Markit company.

As MRC reported earlier, in August 2017, ExxonMobil Chemical Company announced that its Singapore affiliate had completed its acquisition of one of the worlds largest aromatics facilities on Jurong Island in Singapore. The acquisition was first announced in May 2017. The facility, previously owned by Jurong Aromatics Corporation, is located near ExxonMobils largest integrated refining and petrochemical complex, which has an ethylene production capacity of 1.9 million tonnes per year and a crude oil processing capacity of 592,000 barrels per day. The acquisition strengthene both sites with operational and logistical synergies, as well as increase ExxonMobils Singapore aromatics production to over 3.5 million tonnes per year, including 1.8 million tonnes of paraxylene, and add about 65,000 barrels per day of transportation fuels capacity.

Benzene is the main feedstock for the production of styrene monomer (SM), which, in its turn, is used for manufacturing polystyrene (PS).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics totalled 410,780 tonnes in the first ten months of 2020, which corresponded to the same figure a year earlier. High impact polystyrene (HIPS) and general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) shipments increased, whereas demand for other PS grades subsided.

ExxonMobil Chemical Company is one of the largest petrochemical companies worldwide. The company holds leadership positions in some of the largest-volume and highest-growth commodity petrochemical products in the world. ExxonMobil Chemical Company has manufacturing capacity in every major region of the world, serving large and growing markets. More than 90 percent of the Companys chemical capacity is integrated with large refineries or natural gas processing plants.


mrcplast.com
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PS, benzene, crude and gaz condensate, paraxylene (PX), GPPS, styrene, HIPS, ethylene, petrochemistry, Exxon Mobil, Netherlands, Russia, Singapore.
Category:General News
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