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Braskem Idesa shuts cracker, PE lines for maintenance

HOUSTON, October 19, 2016 (PCW) -- Braskem Idesa said it has shut down its Etileno XXI cracker in Mexico for two weeks of maintenance in the second half of this month. Three polyethylene lines will be shut down for 10 to 12 days during the same time frame as well.

The cracker has a production capacity of 2.3 billion lbs/yr, while the three PE lines have a capacity of 1.65 billion lbs/yr of HDPE and 700 million lbs/yr of LDPE.

Braskem said the maintenance was being conducted in conjunction with the “raw material supplier” that is undergoing a similar turnaround.

“We are implementing minor adjustments, corrections, improvements and cleaning on some equipment during the shutdown, no major issues,” Braskem said, adding that it does not expect the shutdown to affect its sales for the year.

The cracker has a 20-year agreement with Pemex for its ethane. Braskem Idesa has said it is using about 55,000 b/d of ethane from the 66,000 b/d contracted amount. Supplies from Pemex have been expected to be tight going forward with domestic production on the decline and Pemex opting to use more natural gas – from which it extracts ethane supplies - for reinjection into existing oil wells to boost production.

In 2Q, the Etileno complex ran at 32% of capacity with total resin production of 83,000 mt. -- Samantha Hartke

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