Mexico City — Mexican chemical complex Ethylene XXI, built and operated by Braskem Idesa S.A.P.I., is running at about 70 percent of its capacity, a senior spokesman for the company said March 26.
"I cannot be specific," the spokesman told Plastics News March 26 when asked about the complex's current production levels.
"But if you check our ethane imports and Pemex's ethane production and their ethylene production, you will end up with similar rates as [in] the past two years, where we ran at approximately 70 percent of our capacity."
The facility in the Mexican state of Veracruz ground to an almost total halt for three months after Mexican government-controlled natural gas pipeline operator Cenegas suspended gas supplies to it on Dec. 1. Mexican authorities had taken issue with an ethane supply contract signed in 2010.
Announcing the resumption of normal operations on March 1, Braskem Idesa said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with two Pemex divisions to "modify" the ethane supply contract and aspire to building an ethane import terminal with the oil company.
Pemex (Petróleos Mexicanos) has struggled to honor its obligation to supply Ethylene XXI with 66,000 barrels of ethane a day and been heavily penalized as a result.
"Part of the potential agreement is the development of an import terminal, so yes we are working on it but have no announcements yet," the spokesman said in an email.
He said natural gas supplies had normalized. Asked how much ethane Pemex is supplying Ethylene XXI every day, he responded: "I cannot be specific."
The $5.2 billion complex, which came on stream in 2016, includes an ethane cracker with a capacity of 1.05 million tons of ethylene a year and three polyethylene plants. Two of them produce high density PE and the other makes low density PE. The total PE capacity is 1 million tons a year.