INEOS ramps up chlor-alkali sites

21 May 2010 16:15  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--European caustic soda producer INEOS ChlorVinyl has successfully restarted three of its plants following an intensive scheduled maintenance, a company source said on Friday.

The company’s 170,000 tonne/year site at Wilhelmshaven in Germany and 135,000 tonne/year facility at Stenungsund, Sweden, have restarted as per schedule, said the source. 

Elsewhere, INEOS’s chlor-alkali site in Rafnes, Norway, which has a nameplate capacity of 135,000 tonne/year caustic soda and 135,000 tonne/year chlorine (the by-product of caustic soda production), was also now operating despite delays to the restart, according to the source.

However, the source said that it was unclear whether the interruption was linked to cracker problems experienced at site earlier in the month, which had constrained the supply of ethylene to the Runcorn site in the UK.

Meanwhile, delays were confirmed at the company’s 865,000 tonne/year caustic soda and 105,000 tonne/year polyvinyl chloride (PVC – the main end use of chlorine) Runcorn facility, which remained in the process of restarting. Details for the setback were not disclosed.

The disruptions experienced at these two sites had impacted both caustic soda and PVC production, according to the source, who outlined that stocks of both products were extremely low.

However, many buyers of both PVC and caustic noted that supply was beginning to improve following the recent start-up of production after the spate of planned maintenances in the European chlor-alkali market.

Many said daily chlorine production had increased by 1.9% in April, as reported by industry body Euro Chlor on 18 May, and would continue to move up as more producers returned to the market.

However, at least two more chlor-alkali producers were due to undertake further maintenance in the coming weeks.

Germany-based Vinnolit was due to halt production at its 130,000 tonne/year PVC and 200,000 tonne/year caustic soda Gendorf facility in July, while LVM/Tessenderlo was reported to be undertaking a planned outage at two of its PVC sites over June, although this was not confirmed at the source.

For more on INEOS, Vinnolit or LVM/Tessenderlo, visit ICIS plants and projects
For more on PVC, chlorine or caustic soda, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Stephanie Wilson
+44 20 8652 3214

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