03 March 2011 22:15 [Source: ICIS news]
VALENCIA, Spain (ICIS)--Cepsa Quimica will restart its recently acquired polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plant in San Roque, Spain, in mid March instead of at the end of the month, a company source said on Thursday.
“On 15-20 March the plant will start up to start deliveries 1 April,” the source said.
Tests on the 175,000 tonne/year plant had been completed and the results were good, the source added.
The restart comes at a time of tightness.
“The PET market does not have enough [upstream] PTA [purified terephthalic acid] to run flat out,” a PET producer said.
A series of PTA forces majeures (FMs) since late in 2010 has resulted in a significant shortage of PET’s core raw material.
As a result PET plants were running at 20-40% below capacity, with one major player, Artenius, also experiencing a FM.
“Some converters are desperate for immediate volumes and are prepared to pay [the higher prices],” a customer explained.
Spot prices were regularly peaking just over €1,600/tonne ($2,222/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), up around €300/tonne from January’s prices, according to data from ICIS.
Suppliers were seeking a €100/tonne increase on regular domestic business. If successful this would bring domestic prices in line with current spot activity.
“There will be more availability with Cepsa Quimica up in the second half of March but I fear that this additional PET during the summer [peak season] won’t radically change the situation,” a PET producer said.
Cepsa Quimica acquired the San Roque plant from La Seda de Barcelona’s Artenius in January.
($1 = €0.72)
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