27 May 2010 17:05 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Production has restarted at the fluid catalytic crackers (FCCs) of two BP refineries – at PCK Schwedt, Germany and Nerefco Rotterdam, the Netherlands - but propylene (C3) forces majeures are still in place as output is not yet on-spec, a source close to the situation said on Thursday.
“Both are running, but [there’s] no on-spec propylene yet,” said the source, adding that it would take a few more days. The units were in start-up mode on 21 May.
BP Refining and Petrochemicals (BPRP) declared forces majeures on propylene supplies from both sites on 17 May.
The FCC at PCK Schwedt had been down for planned maintenance since 7 April, with a restart scheduled for around 6 May. A gas leak and resulting fire on 15 May meant the downtime was extended and forces majeures declared until the end of May.
The PCK Schwedt refinery FCC has the capacity to produce 250,00 tonnes/year of propylene and is key to the inland German 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.
Problems were also being reported at the Miro,
Despite these problems, the European propylene market overall was considered to be balanced rather than short as planned and unplanned derivative issues continued to weigh on the market. The impact of the problems was largely being felt in the inland German market.
Spot prices were being assessed at around contract value - €980-1,000/tonne ($1,195-1,220/tonne) CIF (cost insurance freight) NWE (northwest
Buying sentiment was coming under a little pressure as sources eyed recent events in the Asian market, where spot prices had fallen significantly over the past week because of a weaker energy complex and concerns about eurozone debt.
The June contract was settled at a rollover of €1,000/tonne FD NWE earlier this week.
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