Germany Ethylen Pipeline Sud confirms capacity at 400,000 tonnes/yr

23 December 2010 16:52  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Germany’s 360km ethylene pipeline project to connect BASF’s petrochemicals hub in Ludwigshafen with chemical sites in Bavaria will stick to its original plan of a 400,000 tonne/year capacity even as start-up is delayed to next year, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Erwin Fellner, a spokesman for the Ethylen Pipeline Sud joint venture, told ICIS that the capacity target had not been changed.

The project was now expected to start up in the third quarter of 2011 because of difficulties in obtaining right of ways and construction delays, he said.

The pipeline will connect Ludwigshafen with chemical producers in Munchsmunster, Gendorf and Burghausen in Bavaria.

It is also expected to provide a market for some 80,000 tonnes/year of ethylene produced by Mineralolraffinerie Oberrhein (MIRO) in Karlsruhe, according to an estimate by Baden-Wurttemberg state legislators.

MIRO, Germany’s largest refinery with a capacity of some 15.5m tonnes/year, currently burns the ethylene in on-site heat generation.

However, a European market participant and a London-based petrochemical analyst told ICIS that an 80,000 tonne/year ethylene supply volume from MIRO – equivalent to some 20% of the pipeline’s total capacity - seemed “pretty big.”

Ethylen Pipeline Sud’s Fellner said he could not comment. A MIRO spokesperson said the company – a joint venture between ConocoPhillips, Esso (ExxonMobil), Ruhr Oel, and Shell – would not comment on the expected ethylene volumes.

Stakeholders in Ethylen Pipeline Sud are BASF, Wacker, Clariant, OMW, LyondellBasell, Borealis, Vinnolit and the state of Bavaria.

For more on BASF, Wacker and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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