Eleme Port Harcourt polyolefins plant returns to production

19 March 2010 14:47  [Source: ICIS news]

Eleme complexLONDON (ICIS news)--Nigerian polyolefins producer Eleme Petrochemical’s Port Harcourt plant in Riverside, Nigeria, is back on-stream following a planned maintenance outage, a company source confirmed on Thursday.

“Our plant has resumed production, in fact, before schedule on 13th [March],” the source affirmed, before adding: “It’s [currently] running at full capacity.”

The facility, with a nameplate capacity of 240,000 tonnes/year of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and high density PE (HDPE), and 95,000 tonnes/year of polypropylene (PP), according to company information, had been taken off-stream on 27 February and was scheduled to restart on 15 March.

The absence of PE from the facility appeared to have little effect on the western Africa market it serves, however, as LLDPE prices in the region were confirmed to have slipped by $30/tonne (€22/tonne) to $1,500-1,530/tonne CFR (cost and freight) western Africa.

Many players in the region noted that traders were beginning to offer cargoes of all grades of PE below costs in a bid to clear inventories of high priced material before anticipated decreases, as the key Chinese market showed little sign of a rebound.

A large European trader noted: “Although material from the US and Europe is still tight and prices are high, product from Asia is now being offered into western Africa for April delivery.”

However, the availability of PP in western Africa had severely tightened on the back of high feedstock prices, a number of European forces majeure in Europe and, to some extent, the planned maintenance at Eleme, which had been exacerbated the lack of supply in the market, according to several sources.

As such, PP prices in western Africa gained $30-40/tonne, leaving homopolymer and copolymer PP trading at $1,400-1,430/tonne and $1,500-1,530/tonne CFR western Africa respectively, players confirmed.

($1 = €0.73)

For more on Eleme’s Port Harcourt plant, visit the ICIS plants and projects database
For more on PP and PE, visit
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