14 January 2011 10:27 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Polimeri Europa has declared force majeure on deliveries of low density polyethylene (LDPE) from its site at Dunkirk, France, a company source said on Friday.
“We declared force majeure due to unforeseen technical problems and the LDPE line in Dunkirk will not be up until the middle of February,” said the source.
The plant has a nameplate capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year and has been out of action since it went down for a planned two-month maintenance outage in August 2010.
The 140,000 tonne/year linear low density PE (LLDPE) plant at the site was also brought down at the time, along with the associated cracker, and while the LLDPE plant and the cracker came back on stream in mid-November, LDPE has been down since August.
LDPE availability has been tight globally for several months following the permanent closure of several smaller autoclave units in Europe, and LDPE was now commanding a hitherto unseen premium over other PE grades.
Net LDPE prices were now above €1,400/tonne ($1,867/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) in most cases, from a level of €1,200/tonne FD NWE when Polimeri Europa’s LDPE Dunkirk line initially went down for maintenance.
LDPE buyers confirmed increases up to €120/tonne in January and feared they would face more in February as upstream costs continued to soar.
LDPE is used in food packaging and agricultural applications.
($1 = €0.75)
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