Arkema plans near-term US acrylates maintenance outages

11 May 2010 22:26  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Arkema will take down a reactor train at its Clear Lake acrylic acid plant in Texas for a catalyst change in June or early July, market sources said on Tuesday.

Arkema had no official comment on the project, but sources said the remainder of the plant would continue to operate during the maintenance.

When that project was complete, the company would proceed with a planned turnaround at the site in late July or early August, taking the plant completely down for only three days rather than the scheduled 10 days, a market source said.

The balance of the work would be shifted to a longer outage in November, the source said.

Arkema’s Clear Lake plant had an acrylic acid capacity of 320,000 tonnes/year and could produce as many as 165,000 tonnes/year of butyl acrylate, according to ICIS plants and projects.

A buyer expressed relief that the full turnaround would be delayed long enough to potentially ease months-long supply constraints that have pushed acrylates prices up by 40% since November following a spate of operational issues and sales allocations implemented throughout the market since December.

Other US acrylates suppliers include Dow Chemical and Sasol and BASF.

For more on acrylic acid, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Larry Terry
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