Vietnam’s Long Son extends cracker shutdown to June

  • Market: LPG, Oil products, Petrochemicals
  • 25/03/24

Vietnam's sole cracker operator Long Son Petrochemical (LSP) has extended the shutdown of its cracker and associated downstream units in Ba Ria-Vung Tau to June, to address technical issues.

LSP shut its cracker and downstream units on 21 February because of equipment issues. Siam Cement (SCG), the parent company of LSP, subsequently issued a force majeure on products the following day.

SCG was initially expecting the cracker to restart in about 2-4 weeks after the shutdown in February. But the firm filed a statement to the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) on 22 March, stating that the technical difficulty is still under investigation and the LSP complex is expected to restart in June.

LSP's cracker is a mixed feed cracker with a nameplate capacity of 950,000 t/yr for ethylene, 400,000 t/yr for propylene and a 100,000 t/yr butadiene extraction unit. Downstream units are polymer-focused, with a 500,000 t/yr high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant, a 500,000 t/yr linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) unit and a 400,000 t/yr polypropylene (PP) unit.

SCG offered spot HDPE, LLDPE and PP supplies from its new LSP complex to the market earlier this year but has ceased offers since late February, after the force majeure announcement. SCG also stated in its statement filed to the SET that its Rayong Olefins (ROC) cracker in Map Ta Phut, Thailand has resumed operations. The producer is expected to ramp up production at its 920,000 t/yr HDPE unit and 720,000 t/yr PP unit in Thailand following the restart of the ROC cracker, and will resume supply of these grades to the market.

The ROC cracker was restarted late last week and has achieved on-specification olefins products since then, according to sources close to the company. The cracker was shut for maintenance since mid-November 2023.

The ROC cracker has a nameplate capacity of 800,000 t/yr of ethylene and 400,000 t/yr propylene. SCG also owns another cracker at the same site — the Map Ta Phut Olefins cracker with capacity of 1mn t/yr of ethylene and 500,000 t/yr of propylene. Both the crackers are currently operating at near-full run rates.


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