Pemex Restores Propylene Output at Salina Cruz: Sources
2017-12-06    [Source:S&P Global]

Mexican state-owned energy company Pemex has resumed production of propylene at its Salina Cruz refinery in the southern state of Oaxaca, sources said this week.

Mexico's largest refinery, the 330,000 b/d Salina Cruz facility had been without propylene production following a June 14 fire that stemmed from an oil spill in the wake of flooding from Tropical Storm Calvin. Salina Cruz also suffered major setbacks in the repair process after a September 7 earthquake caused additional damage at the plant.

Originally expected to be without propylene output until early 2018, Salina Cruz is now producing monomer via two fluid catalytic cracking units, a source with knowledge of company operations said. And while a source with a Mexican propylene consumer also confirmed the restored production, Pemex officials had not responded to multiple requests for comment by the time of publication.

Pemex is still dealing with production issues at its Minatitlan refinery in the southeastern state of Veracruz, with a source close to the company recently saying that one of the plant's FCC units was operational and that the second FCC unit would be back online by December 15.

Minatitlan has seen refining and propylene production impacted by a planned maintenance along with effects of the September earthquake and subsequent aftershocks, the source said.

Pemex's propylene output rose in October after three consecutive months of decline, the company said last week. Pemex produced 1,033 mt of propylene last month, up 72 mt (7.5%) from September but still 112 mt (9.8%) lower when compared with October of 2016. Pemex's propylene production through October this year sits at 10,028 mt, down 1,565 mt (13.5%) when compared with the first 10 months of 2016, the data showed.

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