10 March 2011 12:11 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Polimeri Europa will attempt to bring up its 200,000 tonne/year low density polyethylene (LDPE) line in Dunkirk, France, on Friday 11 March following a prolonged shutdown which began at the end of August 2010, a company source said on Thursday.
“We hope production will be back by the middle of next week, but force majeure will stay in place until we have built up some stock,” said the source.
The Dunkirk polyethylene (PE) site went down for a two-month planned maintenance outage in August last year, but while the 140,000 tonne/year linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant came back on line in November, the LDPE line remained out of action and attempts to restart it were unsuccessful.
Polimeri Europa declared force majeure on LDPE from the site on 14 January.
LDPE availability was tight globally, and prices have risen sharply in 2011. The amount of the increase differed widely among producers, as some targeted just the increases in the ethylene monomer contracts while others aimed to increase margin.
Net numbers for LDPE were around €1,500/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) and above on a net basis in March. They were trading at €1,300/tonne FD NWE at the end of 2010.
It was seen as structurally tight following some permanent capacity closures in Europe in 2009, unlike other sectors which were expected to be affected by new capacities in the Middle East and Asia at some point in 2011.
LDPE is used widely in packaging and agricultural sectors.
($1 = €0.72)
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