SABIC’s Geleen butadiene unit ramping up

19 March 2010 12:10  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--SABIC’s butadiene (BD) extraction unit at Geleen in the Netherlands is ramping up after works to repair a technical issue were completed earlier this week a company source said on Friday.

“We are back, we are on-spec and we are ramping up” the source said.

The Geleen unit, which has the capacity to produce 130,000 tonnes/year of butadiene, according to the ICIS plants and projects database, was shut down on 4 March.

The unit had been running at reduced rates since early November and an earlier shutdown had failed to resolve the issue.

Butadiene force majeure was declared on 18 November and was still in place.

A maintenance turnaround was scheduled to get under way in June.

SABIC's other butadiene extraction unit, at Wilton in the UK, was currently in scheduled maintenance but had been offline since 28 February because of polymer fouling. Restart was anticipated in May.

Butadiene supply was very tight in Europe, partly because of the production issues but primarily because of strong export demand from Asia and most recently the US.

BASF's Mannheim, Germany, butadiene extraction unit was in an unplanned shutdown because of polymer fouling, but was expected to be back on line towards the end of next week.

LyondellBasell’s extraction unit at Berre, France was currently on planned maintenance, and Dow’s BD unit at Boehlen, Germany was expected to go into a scheduled shutdown in April.

European spot prices were now pegged close to €1,600/tonne ($2,192/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

The April monthly price was settled on Friday at €1,1350/tonne FD, up €225/tonne from March.

Meanwhile second quarter contract discussions were ongoing with all sources anticipating a significant rise over the first quarter.

$1 = €0.73

For more on butadiene visit ICIS chemical intelligence
For more on SABIC visit ICIS company intelligence
Please visit the complete ICIS plants and projects database
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Nel Weddle
+44 20 8652 3214

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