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Kuwait’s Equate petrochemicals joint venture has begun debottlenecking its polyethylene (PE) units in a bid to raise total PE production capacity to 1mn tons/year from the current 825,000 t/y. The company expects to complete the project in 2016.
The first phase of the debottlenecking took place during a 20 November-20 December complete shutdown of most of Equate’s olefins based units – two ethane crackers with a combined 1.8mn t/y of ethylene capacity which feed a number of polyethylene and ethylene glycol units – and related utilities (see table).
Equate says the units were brought to normal operating levels by 23 December, following the comprehensive shutdown which the company schedules for maintenance every eight years. The company’s total output capacity is 5.64mn t/y, with end-products marketed throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.
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