02 August 2010 18:07 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--BASF plans to shut down its methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) facility at Antwerp, Belgium, in September or October to coincide with upstream maintenance work, a company source said on Monday.
The precise duration of the shutdown was not yet clear, but it was expected to be around six weeks, the source added.
“September and October are normally stronger months after the [summer] holidays. It is not a good time for the maintenance, but we are already setting some stocks aside. It didn't make sense to postpone the maintenance in order to avoid unexpected issues,” said the source.
The European MDI market has been described as tight for the last few months, as demand has picked up and outstripped supply. Feedstock limitations, plant maintenance and production issues have exacerbated the situation.
For example, BorsodChem declared force majeure on MDI supplies from its plant at Kazincbarcika, Hungary, which was thought to still be in place. However, the company was unavailable to comment.
BASF’s nameplate MDI capacity for its Antwerp facility is rated at 560,000 tonnes/year, according to a company source.
BorsodChem's nameplate MDI capacity for its Kazincbarcika plant is pegged at 190,000 tonnes/year, according to the ICIS plants and projects database. A second, smaller MDI unit at the site has been idled since April 2009 for economic reasons.
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