25 January 2011 16:41 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Dow Chemical is planning to shut down one of its three crackers at Terneuzen in the Netherlands later this week because of technical problems, a source close to the company said on Tuesday.
Early indications suggested that the total downtime at the No 2 cracker would be around two weeks. It has the capacity to produce 590,000 tonnes/year of ethylene and 295,000 tonnes/year of propylene, according to ICIS data.
Dow operates three crackers - Nos 1, 2 and 3 - at its Dutch site, with a total of just over 1.8m tonnes/year of ethylene capacity.
A planned six-week turnaround was due to get underway in mid-March at the No 1 cracker.
This outage and, potentially, some rumoured issues at other sites were expected to exacerbate an already balanced-to-tight olefins market resulting from strong demand and production hiccups earlier in the month, particularly since some producers were preparing for a scheduled shutdown slate which would last from February through to June.
February contract discussions for ethylene and propylene were ongoing on Tuesday. An increase was widely anticipated. Ethylene and propylene settled for January at €1,110/tonne ($1,521/tonne) and €1,070/tonne, respectively.
The contracts settle on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.
($1 = €0.73)For more on olefins visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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