18 February 2011 17:35 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Shell has restarted its 150,000 tonne/year isopropanol (IPA) plant at Pernis in the Netherlands, a company source said on Friday.
The site, which went down due to a mechanical problem on 4 February, returned to production as planned on 15 February.
On-spec product was already being manufactured at the site but the Shell source was uncertain when the unit would be back running at full capacity.
However, while the return of the Pernis plant would gradually help ease tension in the IPA market, other factors were making it short.
Imports from the US were becoming increasingly scarce because high upstream propylene costs had made material from the region uncompetitive.
Propylene supply was also limited on the domestic front, making it difficult to secure the feedstock.
These factors helped IPA technical grade spot numbers to rise €30/tonne ($41/tonne) on the low end this week, to €1,150-1,200/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), according to ICIS.
($1 = €0.74)
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