Hyundai Chemical to Start MX, Light Naphtha Output from New Splitter

Reuters, November 15, 2016

South Korea's Hyundai Chemical, a joint venture between Hyundai Oilbank Co. and Lotte Chemical, has finished building a 1.2 trillion won ($1.02 billion) condensate splitter to produce mixed xylene and light naphtha. The 130,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) condensate splitter in Daesan on the country's west coast will churn out 1.2 million tonnes per year of mixed-xylene and 1 million tonnes of light naphtha annually, Hyundai Oilbank said in a statement on Tuesday. It is expected to start operating this month.

Mixed-xylene is a feedstock for xylene, which is used to make plastic bottles and polyester textiles. Light naphtha is mainly used as a petrochemical feedstock. By processing ultra light oil condensate, the splitter can also produce about 50,000 barrels of refined products including diesel and jet fuel, according to the statement. The splitter will boost demand for condensate in the region, helping buoy premiums that are already expected to remain firm through 2017. It will increase Hyundai Oilbank's total refining capacity to 520,000 bpd from 390,000 bpd.

The company also said it would supply mixed xylene to Lotte Chemical and Hyundai Cosmo, jointly owned by the refiner and Japan's Cosmo Oil Co, which could replace about 1 trillion won of imports a year and ensure the stable procurement of raw materials. Light naphtha will be consumed by Lotte Chemical for its petrochemical production.

Ahead of the start-up of its splitter, Hyundai Oilbank bought 2 million barrels of Iran's South Pars condensate each month between October and December, according to two trade sources. ($1 = 1,170.9000 won)


(Reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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