Kumho keeps butadiene runs at 50% due to feedstock crunch
ERJ staff report (TP)
Seoul – Kumho Petrochemical will continue to operate its two butadiene plants in South Korea at reduced rates of 50 percent for the time being, due to an ongoing lack of crude C4 feedstock, reported Platts.
The company has a 150,000 tonne (mt)/year butadiene plant in Yeosu and a 90,000 mt/year butadiene unit in Ulsan.
The two units have been operating at 50 percent of capacity since March, from 100 percent previously, due to a feedstock shortage, Platts reported previously.
South Korea's crude C4 supplies are tight as domestic steam cracker operators have been using lighter feedstock like LPG recently rather than naphtha.
"LPG cracking [versus naphtha] reduces butadiene production in South Korea by 5-10 percent," an industry source estimated.
Due to lower butadiene output, Kumho has also been operating its synthetic rubber plants in South Korea at reduced rates since March.
The company is running its 327,000 mt/year butadiene rubber plant in Yeosu at 49 percent of capacity, and its 481,000 mt/year styrene-butadiene-rubber plant in Ulsan at around 85 percent of capacity, the company source said.
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Full story from Platts