Chiba ethylene cracker to cease operations in 2015 / Responding to declining domestic demand and structural market shift
Faced with declining domestic demand and a structural market shift towards rising feedstock imports, Sumitomo Chemical (Tokyo / Japan; has said it will shut down its 415,000 t/y ethylene cracker in Chiba / Japan during the next scheduled maintenance turnaround in September 2015. The company said the current business environment in Japan is unlikely to change in the future, adding that the only way it can enhance and ensure the continued sustainable operations of its domestic petrochemical business is to curtail costs and raise its activities in the field of higher value-added products.

Sumitomo said it would source the ethylene it needs to run its operations in Japan from Keiyo Ethylene Co. (KEC; Ichihara, Chiba / Japan), its joint venture with Maruzen Petrochemical (Tokyo / Japan; and Mitsui Chemicals (Tokyo / Japan; Sumitomo said it had reached an agreement with the jv partners that its C2 allotment would be raised accordingly. Given that Mitsui recently announced plans to quit KEC (see of 06.02.2013), its higher requirements should not pose a problem. According to’s Polyglobe capacity database (, KEC turns out 740,000 t/y of ethylene as well as 430,000 t/y of propylene.

Sumitomo said it would continue to look for ways to optimise its operations in Chiba, where it also turns out 210,000 t/y of propylene, 420,000 t/y of PP, 170,000 t/y of LDPE, 105,000 t/y of LLDPE, 60,000 t/y of toluene as well as 150,000 t/y of benzene, Polyglobe shows. Taking a broader view, the company said it plans to work towards strengthening its entire global petrochemical portfolio, including in Saudi Arabia and Singapore.
13.02.2013 [224558-0]
Published on 13.02.2013
Sumitomo: Cracker im japanischen Chiba wird geschlossenGerman version of this article...

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