23 January 2009 15:11 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--BASF is due to restart its No 1 cracker at Ludwigshafen, Germany, next week, after placing it on “hot stand-by” in mid-November, a company source said on Friday.
“We will start at the end of the month [January],” the source said, adding that demand for ethylene had recovered sufficiently to warrant bringing the cracker back online.
The 220,000 tonne/year ethylene cracker was one of 80 plants worldwide that BASF earmarked for shutdown because of the unprecedented drop in demand.
Output at some other European crackers was beginning to improve. Some operators said that they had ramped up rates by 10% in January and expected them to increase another 10% in February. Current operating rates were being estimated at around 60-85%, according to sources.
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