04 October 2007 11:15 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--BASF is facing around a two-week delay to the restart of its major Antwerp cracker in Belgium after planned expansion and maintenance work, a company source said on Thursday.
"The original plan was to start up in early October but this has been delayed until the middle of the month," said the source.
"We have not experienced major problems but this is the first maintenance done on the cracker for around eight years so there are a number of small tasks that need to be done."
Part of the work included a 280,000 tonne/year expansion project which would create ?xml:namespace>
After start-up, the cracker would initially run at the previous capacity, with rates being lifted over the course of the fourth quarter, for safety reasons.
"Mid-October would be alright, but anything later than that and it could become a major issue for European supply," replied a large buyer.
A second cracker operator said it was not surprised about the delay, given the major work in progress.
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