BP eyes departure from N America etac market

15 March 2007 21:58  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--In addition to announcing plans to sell its ethyl acetate (etac) manufacturing capacity in Europe, BP was reconsidering its role as a seller of the chemical in the North America market, the company said in a letter to customers on Thursday.

BP markets byproduct etac produced by Solutia’s polyvinyl butyral business, amounting to about 25,000 tonnes/year.

The letter said BP was reviewing that marketing agreement in order to determine the longer term future of the relationship.

“This decision has been made following a review of our acetyls global strategy, which will result in us being able to focus on and further develop our acetic acid
and acetic anhydride businesses in which we have world class technology,” said Lou Williams, director of Americas acetyls sales, in the letter to customers.

Solutia could not be reached immediately for comment.

BP also announced plans on Thursday to increase etac prices by 3 cents/lb throughout the Americas, effective on 1 April.

The announcement follows similar price hike announcements by Eastman and Celanese, the two largest producers of etac in North America.

Eastman specified only urethane-grade etac in its price hike announcement, dated 8 March.

By: David Barry
+1 713 525 2653

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