LyondellBasell lifts butadiene force majeure at Berre, France

02 June 2010 11:53  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--LyondellBasell has lifted force majeure on butadiene (BD) supplies from its Berre, France, site after production returned to normal following a restart delay, a company source said on Wednesday.

The company declared force majeure on butadiene deliveries on 15 April as a result of delays to the start-up of the extraction unit and cracker following scheduled maintenance work, which began in early March.

Once the site’s cracker had been restarted, rate restrictions meant that supplies of crude C4 feedstock were constrained and the force majeure was extended into May.

The return to normal operations at Berre was timely, since planned maintenance was due to commence at SABIC’s Geleen, Netherlands, units around 9-10 June.

However, SABIC’s forces majeures on BD and raffinate 1 supplies were still in place at its Wilton, UK, site following a lengthy period of production isses and a planned turnaround in April, but were expected to be lifted shortly.

Dow’s Boehlen, Germany, extraction unit was still in start-up mode because of restart hitches at the associated cracker following scheduled maintenance.

Production issues and strong export demand had kept European butadiene supplies very tight since the beginning of the year. Some market sources had anticipated an improved supply and demand balance since a major consumer was currently on planned shutdown, but strong demand, particularly from the US, continued to draw any surplus volumes out of Europe.

“Our system is very dry, [I] would be happy to see some molecules in the tank,” the source said.

The second-quarter contract settled at €1,275/tonne ($1,568/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), up €325/tonne from the first quarter.

Spot prices, however, were holding at around €1,700/tonne FD NWE, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

LyondellBasell’s BD unit at Berre has a capacity of 80,000 tonnes/year, according to the ICIS plants and projects database.

($1 = €0.82)

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

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