LyondellBasell to restart Carrington PP unit, shut Berre unit

01 March 2010 13:17  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--LyondellBasell plans to restart its 210,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) unit at Carrington, UK, on 2 March, one day later than expected, after its planned shutdown during February, a company source confirmed on Monday.

“Carrington is coming back a day late, and now we are planning to bring down Aubette PP,” said the source, referring to its PP unit at Berre, France.

The unit, which has a capacity of 350,000 tonnes/year, will be down for five to six weeks, the source said.

“The plant is coming down in a very dynamic environment,” said the source.

The company has been planning to carry out maintenance work on the Berre unit for many months, but the PP market has grown tighter recently, and market sources said they expected its temporary closure to affect supply.

“We have had difficulty getting hold of some PP grades during the second half of February, to the point where we have had to seek alternative and even close some lines,” said one buyer.

Propylene availability was the major cause of PP shortages. Although refinery strikes in France were now largely over, sources said propylene availability was expected to remain restricted throughout 2010.

Homopolymer injection PP prices had risen to €1,040-1,050/tonne ($1,425-1,438/tonne) on a net basis as March got under discussion.

PP producers in Europe include LyondellBasell, Borealis, SABIC, Total Petrochemicals, Dow Chemical, Repsol, INEOS Olefins and Polymers, Polychim and Domo.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214

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