16 March 2010 17:06 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Repairs are under way to resolve polymer ‘popcorn’ fouling at BASF’s butadiene (BD) extraction unit at Mannheim in Germany, a company source said on Tuesday.
The problem occurred on 11 March and the unit was immediately shut down.
“We won’t go on [butadiene] force majeure,” the source said, adding that while it was difficult to source alternative volumes in such a tight market, it was “surviving”.
The source said that the repair work was going ahead as quickly as possible and that it was hoped the unit would be back on stream again some time next week.
BASF has the capacity to produce 105,000 tonnes/year butadiene, according to the ICIS plants and projects database, but supplies mainly to internal customers.
This was the latest issue to affect an already very tight butadiene market. SABIC had been plagued by butadiene production issues at both of its European sites - in the UK and Netherlands - for several months, but it was the consistently strong demand from Asia and the US that had been the greatest driver.
European spot prices were now pegged close to €1,600/tonne ($2,192/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest ?xml:namespace>
($1 = €0.73)
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