UPDATE 1-Japan's Mitsubishi Chem shuts Kashima naphtha cracker

(Adds traders' estimates on restart)

SINGAPORE/TOKYO, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Japan's Mitsubishi Chemical Corp said on Thursday it was unclear when its No.2 naphtha cracker in Kashima would resume operations following the unit's closure this week after a power outage, but traders say it could be as much as two weeks.

The news of Monday's closure confirmed earlier comments by traders.

The cracker has annual capacity of 489,000 tonnes of ethylene when no maintenance is planned. Traders have said the market expects the cracker to resume operations in about two weeks.

"A two-week shutdown is unlikely to lead to them deferring naphtha feedstock cargoes," said a trader.

A 14-day halt in operations would result in lost demand of about 60,000 tonnes of naphtha, or two medium-size vessels.

Mitsubishi Chemical has another cracker at Kashima, north of Tokyo, its No.1 unit, which has a capacity of 392,000 tpy and is unaffected and running, a company spokesman said.

The outage comes after Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp

cut operational rates at its 2.93 million tpy cracking complex in Mailiao to 80 percent of capacity following a fire at a plant run by its sister company, Nan Ya Plastics.

The incident forced Asia's top naphtha buyer to defer 60,000 tonnes of naphtha to November from October.

(Reporting by Seng Li Peng and Risa Maeda, Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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