Dow No2 Terneuzen cracker in unplanned shutdown

06 May 2010 15:08  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)—Dow Chemical’s No 2 cracker at its Terneuzen site in the Netherlands has been shut down because of a technical issue and will be offline for at least a week, a company source said on Thursday.

“No 2 Terneuzen tripped yesterday [Wednesday 5 May]” the source said.

The cracker, one of three operated by Dow at the site, has the capacity to produce 590,000 tonnes/year ethylene and 295,000 tonnes/year propylene, according to ICIS plants and projects data.

Dow recently had some production difficulties at its Tarragona, Spain cracker, due to a feedstock constraint, but this was now running at full rates “more or less”, according to the source.

Scheduled maintenance was still under way at its cracker at Boehlen in Germany and a restart was not due for another two to three weeks.

Several other European crackers were reported to be experiencing hiccups in production.

Ethylene supply was now tight for May, sources said. Planned maintenances were not quite over and demand from derivatives was healthy. Export cargoes booked in April had also taken some flexibility out of the market.

Spot prices were being pegged at €875/tonne ($1,122/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), according to global market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

Cracker by-products propylene (C3) and butadiene (BD) had been already in short supply since the beginning of the year and these latest production problems would only exacerbate the situation, sources said.

Propylene spot prices were recently assessed at around €1,000/tonne CIF (cost insurance freight) NWE, while butadiene spot prices were so far seen to be holding at €1,600/tonne FD NWE, according to ICIS pricing.

$1 = €0.78

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By: Nel Weddle
+44 20 8652 3214

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