Euro PET plant maintenance shutdowns begin

03 March 2006 12:05  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has been cut back significantly as a number of European producers have now begun scheduled shutdowns, industry sources said on Friday.

With the main PET season getting under way, this is likely to cause some temporary tightness in the market and provide support for the price increases targeted by producers, according to bother sellers and buyers. Some producers indicated that they would target March hikes of up to Euro80/tonne, although many believe that Euro30/tonne is a more realistic figure.

Advansa’s 150,000 tonne/year PET plant in Wilton, UK went offline at the beginning of the month as planned, and is expected to be down for around three weeks, company sources said.

This coincides with a shutdown on purified terephthalic acid (PTA) at the same site. Advansa’s 500,000 tonne/year PTA unit went down last weekend (25-26 February) and is due to restart on 24 March. The smaller 175,000 tonne/year unit is continuing to operate. 

VPI’s 80,000 PET tonne/year unit in Volos, Greece is also offline at present. The plant was closed on 22 February and is scheduled to restart on 15 March, said a source at Selenis, a 51% stakeholder in VPI.

In Spain, Novapet’s 125,000 tonne/year Barbastro PET unit was expected to go down over the next few days and would be running again by around 10 April, said a source close to the producer.

Two other European PET outages are scheduled for mid-March to coincide with the turnaround at Interquisa’s PTA plant in San Roque, Spain: Voridian’s 160,000 tonne/year unit at San Roque and the 70,000-90,000 tonne/year plant operated by Selenis at Portalegre, Portugal.

The scheduled shutdowns have coincided with an unplanned outage at the Wloclawek, Poland plant of SK Chemicals.

By: Benjamin Purvis
+44 20 8652 3214

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