LyondellBasell fails to restart Carrington polypropylene plant

08 March 2010 11:51  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--LyondellBasell has failed to restart its 210,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant at Carrington, UK, after it attempted to bring the unit back on line following a planned maintenance shutdown in February, a company source said on Monday.

“We tried start-up over the weekend and will try again today,” said the source. “Even if we are successful today, we won’t have on-spec product before [10 March].”

The plant had been initially due to start up on 1 March after its month-long outage.

LyondellBasell has had a very tight stock position, as its 350,000 tonne/year PP unit at Berre, in southern France was shut down for a five-to-six-week planned maintenance on 1 March.

The company was also planning to bring down its unit at Plock, Poland, in April.

“We have a very, very tight inventory situation,” said the source.

PP availability in Europe was restricted, mainly due to unplanned outages and propylene supply issues, rather than strong demand.

“Seasonal demand is kicking in and we are seeing the strongest order intake since several months,” said the source, adding that the upturn in volumes was due to seasonality.

March homopolymer injection PP prices had risen by a minimum of €35/tonne ($48/tonne) to around €1,100/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), covering the upstream propylene contract increase, but sellers were looking for more due to the tight availability situation.

Several buyers acknowledged that sellers were likely to get more than the initial increase.

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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