INEOS extends force majeure on LLDPE C6 from Grangemouth

27 January 2010 13:52  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--INEOS Olefins & Polymers Europe has extended its force majeure on supplies of C6-grade linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) from its 320,000 tonne/year plant at Grangemouth, UK, a company source confirmed on Wednesday.

The company declared force majeure in early January after production at the plant was interrupted during the Christmas holiday period by a technical issue linked to the main reactor, resulting in an agglomeration.

The source said that INEOS had worked to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, but that a number of unforeseen issues had led to extended maintenance work.

As a consequence, the source said, the plant was now due to restart at the end of February. Earlier market reports suggested that it would be ready to restart by the end of January.

The closure came at a time when LLDPE availability in Europe had tightened considerably, due mainly to cracker cutbacks.

LLDPE prices increased by €80-100/tonne ($113-141/tonne) in January compared with the previous month.

The recent settlement of the February monthly ethylene contract at €940/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), up by €70/tonne from January, led to expectations of further hikes in LLDPE prices for February, sources said.

Prices of C4-grade LLDPE had been trading around €1,040-1,060/tonne FD NWE on a net basis, but sources said they expected prices to rise due to higher feedstocks and lack of availability.

Grades of C6 LLDPE are sold at a premium to those of C4 LLDPE.

INEOS said that it was working with customers to assist them in sourcing and securing alternative supplies.

($1 = €0.71)

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By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214



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