LyondellBasell's Carrington PP plant again fails to restart

11 March 2010 10:06  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--LyondellBasell has again failed to restart its 210,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant at Carrington, UK, following planned maintenance work last month that was to have ended on 1 March, a company source said on Thursday.

“The plant is now delayed by 11 days. We are now in quite a desperate situation,” said the source.

The company tried to restart the plant on the evening of 10 March, the source said.

LyondellBasell had already reported a tight availability situation before this latest incident, and PP availability in the wider market was restricted, mainly due to the lack of propylene.

A power outage on 10 March brought down LyondellBasell’s 185,000 tonne/year PP unit at Ferrara, Italy. The current status of the plant was not clear.

PP prices have been rising in March, and the €35/tonne ($48/tonne) increase in the monthly propylene contract had already been covered.

Producers said they were now aiming to hike prices further due to the restricted supply situation.

Market sources said demand was reasonable but acknowledged that it was a lack of supply that was driving prices up, not strong demand.

Homopolymer injection PP prices were reported within a wide range in Europe, with some regional differences, but net prices were now well above €1,100/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe); prices had been at €890/tonne FD NWE at the end of December 2009.

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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