Pemex VCM plant restart delayed for parts

19 March 2008 21:55  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) will delay restart of its vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant in Veracruz until at least 22 March due to a late shipment of replacement parts, a VCM buyer in Mexico said on Wednesday.

The 400,000 tonnes/year capacity plant at the Pajaritos petrochemical complex near the Gulf port city Coatzacoalcos is the only Pemex facility that produces VCM, the immediate feedstock for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production.

The company said previously that it would restart the plant on 17 March after shutting down the facility for scheduled maintenance in late February.

“They assured me today that the plant would start on Saturday,” the VCM buyer in Mexico said. “Their target date was this Monday, but by last weekend it was clear they would not make it.”

Pemex had originally planned to shut down the Pajaritos VCM plant in September 2007, but the maintenance outage was similarly delayed for six months because several replacement parts did not arrive on time, sources said.

In the meantime, most VCM buyers in Mexico purchased material from US producers, the buyer said.

When the Pemex VCM plant restarts, it will operate at a capacity of about 16,000 tonnes/month, or about 75% of its normal capacity of about 22,500 tonnes/month, which is still well below full capacity, the buyer said.

The plant outage contributed to a recent increase of VCM spot prices, assessed at $770-810/tonne FOB (free on board) USG (US Gulf) during the week ended 14 March, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

($1.00 = €0.64)

For more on VCM, visit ICIS chemical intelligence

For more on Pemex’s VCM plant, visit ICIS plants and projects

By: Greg Holt
+1 713 525 2653

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