Europe plants seen to close on aromatics glut

26 November 2008 19:06  [Source: ICIS news]

COLOGNE, Germany (ICIS news)--European aromatics capacities will have to close and companies exit the business as the economic downturn and the credit crunch bite, a Nexant executive said on Wednesday.

Nexant executive senior vice-president, chem systems, Richard Sleep, said four to six benzene units, two to four styrene and another five polystyrene plants needed to close in the face also of massive new capacity additions in other regions.

Speaking at the 7th ICIS European Aromatics & Derivatives conference, Sleep said he believed two benzene, one styrene and two polystyrene producers might be expected to leave the business.

Global benzene capacity additions of 3.4m tonnes over the projected rise in consumption were expected over the next four years, he added, implying the closure of 3m tonnes of excess capacity.

Rationalisation will help speed recovery from the current downturn, he suggested. “It probably won’t get any better in the New Year and we have to act quickly,” he said.

“You either do nothing or plan for change under alternate scenarios,” Sleep said, suggesting that aromatics producers had to look at multiple scenarios and consider extreme worst and best cases.

For more on benzene and styrene visit ICIS chemicals intelligence
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By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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