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Eneos Resumes Butadiene Manufacturing in Yokkaichi Plant
Eneos Resumes Butadiene Manufacturing in Yokkaichi Plant

Eneos Resumes Butadiene Manufacturing in Yokkaichi Plant

  • 10-Nov-2023 6:11 PM
  • Journalist: Patricia Jose Perez

Eneos, a significant participant in Japan's petrochemical sector and a subsidiary of Eneos Holding, recently resumed butadiene production on Line 2 at its Yokkaichi facility on November 7 after undergoing unscheduled maintenance. This production line, capable of producing 105 thousand tons of butadiene annually, had experienced a temporary suspension in October due to issues at the on-site cracking unit. The resumption coincided with the successful restart of the cracker. Simultaneously, another butadiene production line at the same facility, with an annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes (No. 1), continued its operations without interruption during this period.

This recent resumption of butadiene production follows a previous incident where Eneos, formerly known as JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy, recommenced production in Yokkaichi after addressing an unscheduled repair. The production capacity in question, totaling 148 thousand tons of butadiene, had faced a shutdown at the end of August due to a fire at the cracking plant on the premises. The line resumed operation after the cracking unit, which had been shut down in late August to rectify a technical malfunction, resumed operations on October 12.

A closer examination of market dynamics reveals that ABS imports observed a 12% increase in the first eight months of 2023 compared to the corresponding period in 2022, reaching a total of 22.2 thousand tons compared to 19.7 thousand tons a year earlier, according to the ICIS-MRC Price Review. South Korean supplies constituted 56% (12.5 thousand tons) during this period, a slight uptick from 54% (10.6 thousand tons) in the same period in 2022. China claimed the second spot, contributing 30% (6.6 thousand tons) to the total imports from January to August 2023. Taiwan followed with a 13% share, representing 3 thousand tons.

Eneos Holding, formerly recognized as JXTG, holds the esteemed position of being Japan's largest oil company, engaging in a diverse array of activities spanning the exploration, import, and refining of crude oil. The company is actively involved in the production and sale of various petroleum products, including but not limited to ethylene, propylene, butadiene, styrene, paraxylene, and orthoxylene. Eneos Holding, renowned for its ENEOS brand, has been strategically expanding its production capacity on a global scale in recent years. The corporate name changes from JXTG to Eneos Holdings transpired on June 25, 2020, following the merger of two Japanese companies in April 2017 - JX Holding and Tonen General. Simultaneously, the subsidiary JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy transitioned to the name Eneos.

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