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Pemex restores propylene output at Salina Cruz: sources

Houston — Mexican state-owned energy company Pemex has resumed production ofpropylene at its Salina Cruz refinery in the southern state of Oaxaca, sourcessaid this week.

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Mexico's largest refinery, the 330,000 b/d Salina Cruz facility had beenwithout propylene production following a June 14 fire that stemmed from an oilspill in the wake of flooding from Tropical Storm Calvin. Salina Cruz alsosuffered major setbacks in the repair process after a September 7 earthquakecaused 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, asource with knowledge of company operations said. And while a source with aMexican propylene consumer also confirmed the restored production, Pemexofficials had not responded to multiple requests for comment by the time ofpublication.

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

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

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

--Phillipe Craig, phillipe.craig@spglobal.com

--Edited by Derek Sands, derek.sands@spglobal.com