Pemex restarts VCM plant after 6-week turnaround

24 March 2008 21:04  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant in Veracruz restarted over the weekend after a six-week turnaround for scheduled maintenance, a VCM buyer in Mexico said on Monday.

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).

The plant was originally scheduled to restart on 17 March but was delayed for a week due to a late shipment of replacement parts, sources said.

Pemex did not immediately return a call for comment.

After the restart, sources said it would produce VCM at a rate of about 16,000 tonnes/month, or 71% of its normal production rate of about 22,500 tonnes/month, which is still well below the plant’s full production capacity, the buyer said.

The plant outage contributed to a recent increase of US VCM spot prices, assessed at $770-810/tonne FOB (free on board) USG (US Gulf) during the week ended 21 March, an increase of $50/tonne (€33/tonne) from mid-February, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

Buyers said they hoped the restart would help reduce US VCM spot prices in the second quarter.

($1 = €0.65)

For more on VCM visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Greg Holt
+1 713 525 2653

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