BP plans to resume production at Belgium PTA lines

06 February 2008 12:26  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--European purified terephthalic acid (PTA) producer BP hopes to resume full production at its two plants in Belgium by the end of Wednesday, a spokesperson said.


Accordingly, force majeure declared on feedstock paraxylene (PX) last Thursday was lifted at midnight, added the spokesperson.


The two plants, based in Geel were originally closed for maintenance but plans to restart them were thwarted due to industrial action last week.


However, the industrial action ended over the weekend and BP is currently concentrating on recommencing normal operating rates, the spokesperson added.


The total combined capacity of the plants exceed 1m tonnes/year.


PX spot prices were stable at $1,040-1,070/tonne (€707-723/tonne) FOB (free on board) Rotterdam ahead of BP’s announcement, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.


PX contract negotiations in Europe have only just got under way following confirmation that the PX contract in Asia rolled over from January at $1,100/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Asia.


“It’s too early to comment since Asia has only just settled PX,” a major PX producer said on Wednesday.


“I expect to see parity with Asia,” added a large PX consumer.


“There is already a premium for European PX and I see room for an improvement,” said another large PX consumer. “There should be a reduction [from January's settlement of €793/tonne].”


($1 = €0.68)


Julia Meehan contributed to this story


For more on PTA and PX visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Fiona Bond
+44 20 8652 3214

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