13 January 2011 13:43 [Source: ICIS news]
VALENCIA, Spain (ICIS)--PKN Orlen's new purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in Wloclawek, Poland, has entered the start-up phase and the company plans to make product deliveries in the first quarter 2011, a company source said on Thursday.
“Construction has been completed and currently the facility is in the start-up phase. Initiation of production and the first product deliveries are planned for the first quarter of 2011,” the source said.
Customers said they expect to receive material by the end of February or early March.
“We are waiting for Orlen to start up in February. Material will be available the second half of February,” a customer of the Poland-based company said.
The first source said: “Our customers will be polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producers operating in Poland. One of the main PET manufacturers has a facility located in Wloclawek next to our new PTA plant, while other PET producers are located in the close vicinity.”
European PTA is in short supply, partly because of a force majeure at BP's plant in Geel, Belgium. BP's customers were on 90% allocation.
A PTA buyer said it had had to cancel orders for its downstream PET plant because of the shortage of PTA, adding that it knew of a PET producer that had also been affected by BP's force majeure.
“My expectation is when PKN runs smoothly, definitely PTA producers will have to decrease their operating ratios,” the buyer said.
PTA prices were climbing as a result of tight supply and significant increases upstream.
January contracts were likely to climb beyond €900/tonne ($1,184/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), up from November’s €806-827/tonne.
December contracts were yet to be confirmed. Developments in the upstream paraxylene (PX) market, where prices in December shot up by €102/tonne from November to €1,030/tonne, could mean a €68/tonne hike for PTA, based on ICIS assessments.
($1 = 0.76)
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