BPRP declares C3 forces majeures at Schwedt, Rotterdam units

18 May 2010 10:55  [Source: ICIS news]

BPRP delares C3 FMs at Schwedt, RotterdamLONDON (ICIS news)--BP Refining and Petrochemicals (BPRP) has declared force majeure on propylene (C3) supplies from its PCK Schwedt, Germany, and Nerefco Rotterdam, Netherlands refineries, a company source said on Tuesday.

“The forces majeures were declared on Monday (17 May)” the source said.

In a letter to its customers, BPRP said that a gas leak and resulting fire on 15 May had forced it to declare force majeure for the rest of May 2010 to its customers supplied from its PCK Schwedt fluid catalytic cracker (FCC).

The FCC had been down for planned maintenance since 7 April and had been due to restart around 6 May.

In Rotterdam, a power failure by an external provider meant that the refinery had to be shut down over the 15-16 May weekend. However, on-spec propylene was expected from the FCC unit by the end of the week.

The PCK Schwedt refinery FCC has the capacity to produce 250,00 tonnes/year of propylene and is key to the inland Germany market. PCK shareholders also include Shell, Agip, and Total.

The FCC at the Nerefco refinery produces around 150,000 tonnes/year refinery grade propylene, according to the source.

The propylene market in Europe has recently been in a more balanced position because of unplanned derivative issues, but these new production problems would once again tighten the market considerably.

Spot prices were being assessed at around contract value - €1,000/tonne ($1,240/tonne) CIF (cost insurance freight) NWE (northwest Europe) in the week ending 14 May, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing, but were widely expected to firm.

June contract discussions were due to get under way this week; the May contract settled at €1,000/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE.

($1 = €0.81)

For more on propylene visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Nel Weddle
+44 20 8652 3214

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