Saudi’s SEPC delays HDPE plant shutdown on buoyant spot

11 March 2011 09:50  [Source: ICIS news]

Polyethylene is used in food packagingSINGAPORE (ICIS)--Saudi Ethylene and Polyethylene (SEPC) has delayed the turnaround at its 400,000 tonne/year high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant at Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia, in view of the prevailing high spot prices, a company source said on Friday.

“The plans have been deferred and the exact date for the turnaround remains uncertain,” the source added.

The plant was previously scheduled to go off line in the last week of March for a week of maintenance.

“Prices are high, so it is not a good time to take the plant off line,” the source said.

SEPC also operates a 400,000 tonne/year low-density PE (LDPE) plant at the same site.

Regional producers in the Middle East last week announced $20–80/tonne (€15–58/tonne) hikes for their March cargoes on the back of escalating manufacturing costs and surging energy prices.

Converters and buyers said they had little choice but to accept the increase in prices, but they booked limited volumes.

HDPE prices were at $1,480–1,510/tonne CFR (cost & freight) Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), while LDPE prices were at $1,790–1,820/tonne CFR GCC and linear LDPE (LLDPE) discussions were heard at $1,470–1,500/tonne CFR GCC, ICIS data showed.

SEPC is a joint venture (JV) involving National Industrialisation Co (TASNEE), which owns a 50.6% stake, Sahara Olefins with a 24.4% share and LyondellBasell, which holds the remaining 25% of the company.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Saru Thukral
+44 208652 3214

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