Chile’s Petroquim to restart PP production as raw material returns

21 July 2010 22:19  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Chile’s sole polypropylene (PP) producer Petroquim was ready to ramp up PP production after experiencing inconsistent supply of raw material, a company source said on Wednesday.

The company stopped operations as a result of the powerful earthquake that struck Chile in February. The PP plant suffered only minor damages and was ready to restart on 26 June, but the propylene supply from local refiner Enap had not returned to normal.

Starting last week, Enap finally steadied the process and resumed delivery of propylene of consistent quality and specifications, the source said.

Meanwhile, Enap's ethylene plant was scheduled to restart this week, and would enable as much as 35% of capacity for homopolymer production and some ethylene for the production of copolymers, the source said. 

Anticipating potential delays in ethylene production, Petroquim bought copolymers to supply key clients who otherwise could have been in danger of stock depletion.

Petroquim had not resumed exports to countries like Peru and Ecuador, the source said.

The delays in ethylene were said to have affected also the restart of Dow Chemical’s polyethylene (PE) production in Talcahuano. Dow sources were not immediately available for comment.

Enap did not return inquiries on the status of its ethylene cracker.

($1 = €0.78)

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By: George Martin
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