INEOS NOVA cites poor margins in Texas City styrene shutdown

27 October 2009 15:09  [Source: ICIS news]

INEOS NOVA shuts down SM plantHOUSTON (ICIS news)--INEOS NOVA has shut down its its 530,000 tonne/year Texas City styrene monomer (SM) plant in Texas due to economic factors, the global styrenics major said on Tuesday.

The plant was shut down over the weekend, the company said.

A source familiar with the Texas City plant said it was taken down due to unsustainable styrene margins and would remain offline until margins recover.

INEOS NOVA anticipated that adequate SM margin levels for restart would be seen in first-quarter 2010, the source said.

The company’s other North American styrene operations continued at its larger facility in Bayport, Texas, as well as a smaller plant in Sarnia, Ontario, market sources said.

A company spokesperson said the temporary shutdown at Texas City would not result in job losses.

October styrene spot prices were assessed at 44.25-45.50 cents/lb ($976-1,003/tonne, €654-672/tonne) FOB (free on board) US Gulf (USG), although bids were heard as low as 40 cents/lb against offers as high as 49 cents/lb, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

Variable costs for styrene are steered by benzene, ethylene and natural gas, and were estimated in the low 40s cents/lb in the last week of October.

($1 = €0.67)

For more on styrene visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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