Japan plans maintenance at seven naphtha crackers in 2018

TOKYO (Reuters) — Seven naphtha crackers in Japan are expected to be shut in 2018 for scheduled maintenance, industry and company sources said.

That is up from three crackers that underwent planned maintenance shutdowns last year as turnarounds that are conducted once every two or four years usually concentrate in even-numbered years, the sources said.

Mitsubishi Chemical plans to shut its 539 Mtpy naphtha cracker from May 9 to July 3, followed by a scheduled restart on July 4, a company spokesman said.

Other ethylene manufacturers operating crackers include oil refiner JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy, and Osaka Petrochemical Industries Ltd, a wholly owned unit of Mitsui Chemicals.

Keiyo Ethylene is 55% owned by Maruzen Petrochemical Co and 45% by Sumitomo Chemical Co. Maruzen Petrochemical is a subsidiary of Cosmo Energy Holdings.

Tonen Chemical Corp is part of JXTG group. Showa Denko and Tosoh Corp also operate naphtha crackers. Asahi Kasei Mitsubishi Chemical Ethylene Corp, a 50–50 JV of Asahi Kasei Chemicals and Mitsubishi Chemical, operates a naphtha cracker in Mizushima, western Japan.

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori in TOKYO and Seng Li Peng in SINGAPORE; editing by Richard Pullin

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